The Defense Advisory Committee on Investigation, Prosecution and Defense of Sexual Assault in the Armed Forces (DAC-IPAD) is a federal advisory committee that provides independent advice and recommendations to the Secretary of Defense on matters related to the investigation, prosecution and defense of allegations of sexual assault in the military.
The DAC-IPAD was established by Congress in 2016 to enhance the fairness, effectiveness and transparency of the military justice system in addressing sexual assault crimes. Consisting of 16 members who are appointed by the Secretary of Defense for three-year terms, the members include experts in military justice, sexual assault prevention and response, victim advocacy, civil rights, and criminal law.
The DAC-IPAD conducts reviews, analyses, assessments and evaluations of policies, procedures, practices and data related to sexual assault cases in the armed forces. The DAC-IPAD also holds public meetings, receives briefings from Department of Defense officials and stakeholders, and issues reports and recommendations to the Secretary of Defense and Congress. It’s not uncommon for DAC-IPAD recommendations to find their way into the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which establishes the annual budget for the Department of Defense. We will discuss the NDAA and why this is so important in the coming weeks.
The DAC-IPAD plays an important role in ensuring accountability, oversight and improvement of the military's response to sexual assault and has included survivors as one of the important stakeholders informing its efforts. As such, Survivors United has become recognized as a critical voice of survivors, providing insight and information on actual experiences to compliment and humanize their studies and statistics. We have testified before their panel members, submitted reports and even been cited in their reports.
In the DAC-IPAD, Survivors United has found a powerful, impartial advocate for the improvement of the Military Code of Justice as it relates to sexual assault crimes that also values the voice of survivors in that effort. We are so grateful for their work and their choice to include us in their process. In future posts we will highlight some of our specific efforts and accomplishments related to our work with the DAC-IPAD. If you would like to know more about the DAC-IPAD, there is a wealth of additional information available on their website, https://dacipad.whs.mil/