Several lawmakers have put forward proposals to address the issue of sexual assault, including McCaskill, who has put forward a plan that calls for creating an environment where victims feel protected and safe to come forward without consequence. Her bill allows for victims to move units so their career is not disrupted.

"I think the military culture did not welcome these kinds of problems. They did not want these kinds of disruptions, so it was easier for them to see that this was not really a big problem. And women and men were saying why would I ever come forward? This is painful, it's private, it's personal, and everybody's going to know about it the minute I come forward and I work with all these people."

The Missouri senator also plans to do away with the military's current policy of overturned jury verdicts by commanders, calling the practice "absolutely inappropriate."

"You cannot train your way out of this problem. These are predators, they will strike again and again," she said. "This has to be a focus of successful prosecution — not 'let's see if we can make this go away because it might make my unit look bad.' But rather we got to get these guys, get them in a court room, convict them and put them away."