- Associated Press - Thursday, April 3, 2014

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A bill intended to give victims more power to report sexual abuse and other crimes involving state military personnel and increase transparency within the reporting system has been signed into law.

Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad signed the bill Thursday.

Under the law, state military forces now must file an annual report with the governor and the Legislature detailing sexual abuse allegations within the forces. The Iowa National Guard will have to share the number of restricted reports, in which the cases are handled exclusively within the forces, or unrestricted reports, in which the commander is obligated to notify local law enforcement. Victims will also receive more freedom to report, as military commanders cannot interfere in the reporting process.

The bill garnered widespread support in both the House and Senate.