DOD Sex Assaults Down, Reporting Up

Although sexual assaults in the military have decreased Defense Department-wide, service members are reporting more of the crimes that do occur, bringing more perpetrators to justice, according to the most recent independent survey results. “We believe that our efforts to prevent sexual assault are beginning to have an impact,” Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said during a Dec. 4 briefing at the Pentagon. Since the last DOD-wide prevalence survey in 2012, sexual assaults decreased by 25 percent, while in the last year alone, crime reporting rose by eight percent, Hagel said. “Our survey results indicate that there were 6,000 to 7,000 fewer sexual assaults in 2014 than in 2012,” added Pentagon Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Director Army Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Snow. Based on survey results, “We estimate that about 19,000 service members experienced unwanted sexual contact in 2014,” equating to roughly 4.3 percent of uniformed women, and 0.9 percent of military men, Snow said. Of these, 4,608 victims reported crimes through the chain of command, equating to a 24 percent reporting rate. (SAPR report; Caution, large-sized file.)