WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Jackie Speier today released the following statement in response to the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Annual Report on Sexual Violence and Harassment at the Military Service Academies. The report shows that despite repeated assurances by military leadership, they have failed to address the crisis of sexual assault and harassment at our service academies. Sexual assault rates have spiked 33% since the last survey released, with 12% of women in the academies experiencing rape or sexual assault and 48% facing severe and persistent sexual harassment during the 2015-2016 academic year.
“The military academies are supposed to attract the cream of the crop. It makes me shudder to hear that one-in-three female cadets and midshipmen have been sexually assaulted. This is a 33 percent increase in crimes since the last annual survey was released. And this assumes that all of these crimes have been reported, when we know many survivors are never able to come forward,” Rep. Speier said. “Equally disturbing is the fact that almost 50 percent of these young women have been sexually harassed by their peers. It is repugnant and outrageous, and the latest findings indicate a continual failure of military leadership in addressing the epidemic of sexual assault and harassment. How many more reports are needed until we fundamentally reform the military judicial system?”
“The numbers in this report prove we are in the midst of a national epidemic, one that demands swift response by Defense Secretary Mattis, the President, and Congress if it’s to be resolved once and for all. Anyone involved in abuse, harassment, assault, or online attacks at our military service academies, or within our military, must be drummed out of the service and punished for their crimes,” Rep Speier said.