The Pentagon released its annual report (PDF) on sexual crimes in the military last Friday, finding a slight increase in the number of sexual assaults. The number of sexual assaults in fiscal year 2011 increased by 1% from fiscal year 2010. The number is a slight decrease from 2009.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said he will soon announce new anti-sexual assault measures. In a statement, he said, “Since taking this office, I’ve made it one of my top priorities to do everything we can to reduce and prevent sexual assault, to make victims of sexual assault feel secure enough to report this crime without fear of retribution or harm to their career, and to hold the perpetrators appropriately accountable.” Congresswoman Jackie Speier said the report showed the military was not doing enough, saying, “Prevention classes and sensitivity training are not enough to solve the problem of rape and sexual assault in the military.”
According to the report, in 2011 88 percent of the victims of sexual assault in the military were female. Most of the victims were low-ranking and under the age of 25. 31 percent of the assaults were charges of rape, 30 percent were aggravated sexual assault, and 25 percent were charges of wrongful sexual contact. The number of military personnel court-martialed for sexual assault has risen by 10 percent.
DoD Annual Report 4/12; CNN 4/14/12; Reuters 4/13/12