The FY 2022 DoD report on sexual assault in the US military paints a bleak picture; the issue is so out of control internal recommendations include establishing a special sexual assault police force and trial mechanism.
The DoD admits it doesn’t have the tools in place to deal with sexual assault
“Effective prevention of sexual harrassment, sexual assault, and other forms of violence requires the time and dedication of full-time personnel with specific public health and behavirial social science expertise. Prevention responsiblities should not be carried out as collateral or additional duty. Building primary prevention workforce capability will require long-term investments from Military Deparmtnet leadership to empower the Services and National Guard”DoD Annual report on sexual assault in the military FY 22
This seems to be a direct admission of what Congress has been saying to the DoD for several years. The problem is raging out of control, asking commanders to deal with it is unreasonable, and the Military Department of Leadership has yet to act to stop this problem.
The US Military has been slow to respond
Since 2019 Congress has essentially been investigating this problem with the tools it has available, and in the last 2 years, the DoD has been required to submit this annual written report on sexual harassment. Since this spotlight began, it seems that the problem of sexual harassment has spiraled out of control.
Many recommendations have been unchanged for several years but are not implemented – including the basic one of having sexual assault reports go outside of the chain of command. If the only reporting option you have for sexual assault is directly reporting it to your commander, who may have been involved or not want to deal with it you are less likely to report it. At a basic level, its taken 4 years for the US military to admit that simple fact, and the true scale of sexual assault is unlikely to come to light until there is a more neutral reporting mechanism.
Dozens of sexual assaults happen each day in the US Military
According to the US military, they estimate that 29% of women report a sexual assault and 10% of men; this means with the annual reported cases resting at 8,942 – the real number of sexual assaults is closer to 90-71% higher. If the real number of assaults is close to 15,000 per year, there would be 41 sexual assaults each and every day in the US Armed Forces.
The reports the DoD gets are credible – commanders take disciplinary action in 66% of cases that reach them. This is an exceptionally high action rate by commanders, suggesting the assaults are serious. The military commanders are in a culture that is reticent to admit the problem in the first place or take action of any kind. The DoD found that 1% of cases were “false” or “baseless,” meaning they found evidence to contradict the actual accusation.