Rape is also a growing problem in the military. The Department of Defense reported 3,374 sexual assault reports in the military in 2012, a record high and a 6 percent increase from 2011. The study uncovered some disturbing facts. Here are a couple of startling ones:
– Less than less than 10 percent of the 3,374 cases were brought to trial; – 12,100 of the 203,000 women on active duty and 13,900 of the 1.2 million men on active duty had experienced some form of sexual assault.
Many military women and men do not report the crimes for fear of retribution or limited justice under the military’s system for prosecution. The commanders who make these critical decisions often do not have legal training and fail to send the sexual assault complaints to trial. Legislation like the Military Justice Improvement Act of 2013 would place the reporting and decision making for cases of sexual assault, and other serious crimes, outside of the victim’s chain of command and in the hands of a trained military prosecutor. Real accountability in the military will help give survivors the confidence they need to file reports and get the justice they deserve.