WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Jackie Speier (CA-14), Ranking Member on the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel, issued the following statement today in response to the release of the Department of Defense’s Annual Report on Sexual Assault in the Military.

“I am heartened to see that rates of sexual assault reported in the military were down in 2016, and that the rates of servicemembers reporting such attacks increased that year. Much of the credit for that accomplishment must go to the incredibly brave survivors and their advocates who have never faltered in their fight for military leadership to put an end to this cultural rot that has pervaded all branches of our armed services,” Rep. Speier said. “However, the reduced rate of prosecutions and the disturbing rates of retaliation against those who formally report such crimes shows that military leadership has not risen to the profound challenge of adequately and appropriately scrubbing sexual harassment and assault from within the ranks. Until military leadership makes it clear that these kinds of attacks will be met with prosecution and result in removal from our armed forces, this rot will grow and spread.”

Click here to view a copy of the report.