SAN MATEO, CA - Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-San Francisco/San Mateo) stated today that the Department of Defense’s Annual Report on Sexual Assault in the Military "is regrettably, more of the same." The FY11 data reveals that reports of rape and assault by service members have slightly increased over the past year while punishments, court martials, and convictions decreased.

Speier added, “All of the important numbers are going in the wrong direction. This report shows that prevention classes and sensitivity training are not enough to solve the problem of rape and sexual assault in the military.

“Service members should not fear their colleagues more than the enemy. Until we see more prosecutions, more offenders punished for their crimes, and more victims confident enough in the military justice system to report these crimes, we will not see a significant improvement in the incidence of sexual assaults in the military."

Congresswoman Speier is a member of the House Armed Services Committee and the author of H.R. 3435, The Sexual Assault Training Oversight and Prevention Act—the STOP Act— which takes the reporting, oversight, investigation, and victim care of sexual assaults out of the hands of the military’s normal chain of command and places jurisdiction in the newly created, autonomous Sexual Assault Oversight and Response Office comprised of civilian and military experts.

Congresswoman Speier also serves as the Honorary Chair of Protect our Defenders, an organization that supports women and men in uniform who have been raped or sexually assaulted by fellow service members. Those who wish to share their stories can do so at Protect Our Defenders.