[We’re] giving survivors for the first time a voice in the military justice process
– Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel
The military reports that more women are willing to report sexual assaults. In a new anonymous survey, it is suggested victims are becoming far more willing to file complaints than in years past.
According to the Associated Press, 1 in every 4 victims filed a report this year, in sharp contrast to 2012, when only about 1 in every 10 military victims came forward.
Before the survey results were reported, The White House believed it would increase sexual abuse in the ranks and change a culture that forces victims to keep their mouths shut.
Now roughly 60 percent of women in the military said they experienced retaliation for reporting a sexual assault, according to the new report.
The Defense Department conducted their last anonymous report in 2012 and found about 26,000 services members said they had been the victim of unwanted sexual contact — a number that stunned officials and outraged lawmakers, triggering a barrage of congressional hearings and legislative changes.
The officials said there were nearly 6,000 victims of reported assaults in 2014, compared with just over 5,500 last year. The Pentagon changed its method of accounting for the assaults this year, and now each victim counts for one report. This year, that number dropped to about 19,000 — including about 10,500 men and 8,500 women — which officials said suggested that there was a trend of sexual assaults declining.