Statement of Eleanor Smeal on the Reported Increase of Sexual Assault in the Military

Sexual assault in the military has increased by 37% since 2010. According to a recently released report from the Department of Defense, 26,000 members of the armed forces report experiencing unwanted sexual contact in 2012 compared to the 19,300 in 2010. Based off these reports, on average there are 70 sexual assaults per day in the military.

“Military sexual assault is an outrage,” exclaimed Eleanor Smeal, President of the Feminist Majority. “There is no excuse. We must take military sexual assault cases out of the chain of command so those responsible are held accountable for their egregious actions. No more coddling, no more protection, no more promoting of predators.”

The report found on average that less than one out of every ten cases of sexual assault in the military resulted in a sexual assault conviction at court-martial. Shockingly, the majority of cases resulted in minor administrative action or were dismissed completely. “The case of Lieutenant Colonel Jeffery Krusinski is the final straw. The military must get  serious on sexual assault – nothing less than its reputation is at stake,” Smeal continued.

“Victims of sexual assault are most often afraid to report their attack, while predators have nothing to fear. Studies have shown that these assaults are being committedd by a small percentage of military personal on both women and men. The current system is broken and only empower serial rapists. Victims who report often end their military careers while their attackers are promoted. We must change the way the military handles sexual assault. That is why we need measures like the STOP Act introduced by Representative Jackie Speier (D-CA). Until significant and meaningful action is taken by Congress, the Administration, and the Department of Defense, sexual assault in the military will not stop.”