***STATEMENT*** New Pentagon Report Details Increase in Sexual Assault Reports
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 28, 2023
New Pentagon Report Details Increase in Sexual Assault Reports
Reported military sexual assault reports increased by 1%, 13% in the Air Force alone
Washington, DC – Yesterday, the Pentagon released a new report on reported military sexual assault cases across all service branches. The report found that military sexual assault reports increased by about 1% during fiscal year 2022, despite a steep decrease in Army reports offseting other service increases. Of the 8,942 overall reports filed, there were only 553 cases in which sexual assault charges were preferred, and only 123 convictions for a sexual assault related offense. As most cases of sexual assault are widely considered underreported, this overall increase is troubling.
The report comes on the heels of the latest tragedy at Fort Hood with news of Private Ana Basaldua Ruiz’s death and silence on Spc. Katerina Weikel’s death. Further, the Pentagon’s latest report on sexual harassment and violence at U.S. military academies found that while 63% of female cadets/midshipmen have experience sexual harassment or violence, only two reported cases of sexual assault led to a conviction.
With transformative legislative reforms from NDAA FY 22 and NDAA FY 23 now law, but yet to be implemented – Congress must turn to independent parties at Fort Hood to ensure military leadership is held accountable, servicemembers are protected, and reforms are implemented justly and swiftly.
Protect Our Defenders Vice-Chair, Josh Connolly, former Chief of Staff for Rep. Jackie Speier (former Chairwoman of the Military Personnel Subcommittee on the House Armed Services Committee), released the following statement:
“Unfortunately, this report provides far from a complete picture of the military’s handling of the scourge of sexual assault. Without having a prevalence survey to put these numbers in context, we, Congress and the public are left in the dark about what is truly happening in our ranks. What we do know is that the recently released Military Academy Report revealed a more complete picture that the prevalence skyrocketed and reports went in the wrong direction.
“Congress must be laser-focused in providing the needed oversight to ensure that the hard fought reforms that have been signed into law are actually put in place and implemented properly. We also need to take a serious look at the culture on our bases. Deeply troubling tragedies continue to emerge from bases like Fort Hood. Relying on the military’s assessment isn’t good enough. We must have expert third parties do a wholesale review of what is really happening.”