Military Sexual Assault And Harassment Essay

1537 Words Dec 11th, 2015 null Page
On 3 December 2015, Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced that all branches of the military must open all combat roles to women within one year. This brings new urgency to the issue of rampant sexual assault and harassment in the U.S. military. Roughly 19,000 U.S. servicemen and servicewomen were sexually assaulted or raped last year while serving their country - that is approximately 52 cases per day. Their assailants by-and-large were other service members. Although roughly 80% of cases go unreported, those who do report often face retaliation from their units or commanding officers. Of those who report, only 8% of sexual assault accusations reach a court-marital hearing, and only 5% result in conviction. These men and women who survive military sexual assault live with crippling Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other physical and mental illnesses as a result of their assault. While there have been attempts to resolve this issue over the last five years, military sexual assault survivors’ advocacy groups such as the Service Women’s Action Network (SWAN) and Protect Our Defenders say that these reforms are not enough. In 2014, for instance the Senate passed the Victims Protection Act, sponsored by Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) which created a number of important changes in the military sex crimes persecution process. While this Act did address some of the key concerns outlined by advocacy groups, these groups insist that congressional reform has not gone…

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