Military Women Allege Greatest Sexual Assault Tallies Last Year Since 2006

A Department of Defense study found in 2021, more female service personnel documented being sexually abused than at any time since the military began monitoring such statistics in 2006.

Roughly 19,250 female and 16,600 male active-duty service personnel were estimated by the Pentagon to have had unwelcome sexual contact.

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About 8.4 percent of all female personnel and 1.5 percent of all male personnel were victims of such events; the former figure is the greatest since the department began recording such statistics.

Percentages

The percentage of assaults reported by military members dropped to around 20% from 30% in the 2018 poll.

The new data was compiled in the Pentagon’s “Annual Report on Sexual Assault in the Military,” published on Thursday and covers sexual assaults that occurred during the fiscal year 2021.

The Marine Corps had the greatest rate of unwanted sexual experiences among all branches of service (13% of female Marines). A little over 10% of women sailors and 5.5% of women in the Air Force experienced the same thing.

Each military branch reported around 1-2% of male service members experiencing sexual assault, with sailors reporting the highest percentage (2.1%).

The poll results were regarded as “very alarming” by Dr. Andra Tharp, a senior prevention consultant for the Office of Force Resilience.

Tharp did, however, point to new policies that Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin championed and authorized in recent months.

Women serving in the U.S. military are overwhelmingly skeptical that the current system will safeguard their privacy, keep them safe after a sexual assault, or treat them with consideration and dignity if they experience such an assault.

Trust in Due Process

The number of women who agree or strongly agree that they can rely on the military to preserve their privacy has dropped to 34% from 63% in the most recent survey (2018), while remaining reasonably stable for the preceding almost ten years.

Even though 69% of women in 2018 said they trusted the military to keep them safe, only 40% do so today. On top of this, even fewer (39%) believe the military will treat them with respect and dignity.

The percentage of men who answered yes to all three questions has dropped significantly; albeit it is still above 50%.

Acting head of DoD’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office, Dr. Nathan Galbreath, told reporters that he thinks the proportion of service members who just don’t believe the armed services can sufficiently handle a case of sexual assault has increased because of bad press on military incidents and impression.


In his opinion, the survey results reflect “some of the anxiety about what folks are hearing in the military about their judicial process.”

In the end, sexual assault on anybody, especially our service women, is unacceptable. The military should have the highest form of discipline and these things should not be happening there.

This article appeared in NewsHouse and has been published here with permission.

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