Washington, DC -- Congresswoman Jackie Speier, Chair of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel, released the following statement in response to a stunning spike in sexual assaults in the military -- which rose 37% from 2016 to 2018 -- detailed in the Pentagon's most recent survey of Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine personnel.
“The results of this year's survey on sexual assault in the military are deeply disturbing. Despite the hundreds of millions of dollars the Defense Department has spent on sexual assault prevention programs over the last decade, more sexual assaults occurred in fiscal year 2018 than fiscal year 2010. The number of assaults jumped 37% from two years ago. Though raw reporting totals continue to increase, the percentage of survivors reporting decreased from two years ago. The Department must accept that current programs are simply not working. Congress must lead the way in forcing the Department to take more aggressive approaches to fighting this scourge,” Rep. Speier said. “I was also troubled by the report's disingenuous and misleading implication that Congressional concern should in any way be mitigated by the fact that 18-24 year old women experienced the largest jump in assaults. That group has always experienced the largest share of assaults and has the largest share of women in the military. If anyone is surprised that a significant jump would come from that group, they weren’t paying attention.”