According to a survey by the Department of Defence, the records of women being assaulted in the military was the highest in 2021. The United States military began to track the data in 2006, and last year’s record has been the highest so far.
A senior prevention adviser for the Office of Force Resiliency, Dr. Andra Tharp, described the data as extremely concerning. She also noted the recent policies promoted and approved by the United States Defense secretary, Lloyd Austin.
The new statistics were revealed through the pentagon’s release of the 2021 “Annual Report on Sexual Assault in the Military” on Thursday.
The report reads, “The Department estimates that 35,875 active duty Service members experienced some form of unwanted sexual contact in the year prior to being surveyed. Sexual assault and sexual harassment remain persistent and corrosive problems across the military.”
According to the survey, most women in the military have shown no confidence in the system whatsoever. Most women have said the system cannot protect them from sexual predators or even fight for them after the assault. More so, they do not trust the system to treat them with dignity and respect.
This would be under Biden’s watch. https://t.co/30bPQ2gI0n
— Chris Pandolfo (@ChrisCPandolfo) September 2, 2022
Only a few women believe that the military system is capable of protecting its women. This survey recorded 34% of votes in support of the system. However, 63% had voted in support of the system when the last survey was conducted.
40% of women trust the military system to guarantee their safety, down from 69% in 2018. Only 39% now expect the military to treat them rightfully, down from 66% who gave the government a vote of trust before now. The decline in the vote of confidence was also recorded among male service members.
40% or fewer women U.S. soldiers say they “agree or strongly agree” with that they trust the military to 1) protect their privacy, 2) their safety and 3) treat them with respect and dignity. Each category is 25%+ lower than it was in 2018@dcexaminer https://t.co/ghZXYxE9mh
— Mike Brest (@MikeBrestDC) September 1, 2022
This loss of confidence in the United States military can be understood, seeing how sexual violence has been on the increase every year since the data started getting tracked.
According to estimates, over 35,000 active-duty members experienced sexual assault in one form or the other. A slight majority of this number of recorded victims were females. Out of these estimated 35,000, only 20% bothered to report the assault in hopes that something would be done about it. In 2018, 50% of the assault victims reported to the authorities.
The acting director of the Department of Defense’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office, Dr. Nathan Galbreath, also gave a statement to the press. He said he believes people are losing confidence in the military’s ability to handle assault cases due to bad press. He added that the general perception about military happenings might also be involved.
“Overall, what I think you’re seeing is some of that concern about … what people are hearing in the military about their justice process reflected us in the survey results.”
Gilbert R. Cisneros Jr., Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, said, “We are incorporating accountability and transparency into our response process while establishing a professionalised prevention workforce to reduce harmful behaviours and promote the well-being of our Service members.”
He added, “Taken together efforts will set the right conditions to reduce and eliminate unwanted sexual contact, sexual assault, and sexual harassment in the Military Departments.”