WASHINGTON, DC—In FY 2011, there were a total of 3,192 reports of sexual assault involving troops, a new report found. This represents a one percent increase in reports of sexual assault compared to fiscal 2010.
DoD released the new figures as a part of the FY 2011 Annual Report on Sexual Assault in the Military, as required by law.
“As this report makes clear, we have more work to do to confront this problem. There are no easy answers, but that makes it all the more essential for us to devote our energy and our attention to trying to confront this challenging crime,” Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said in a statement.
Other findings of the report included that in FY 2011, commanders had sufficient evidence to take disciplinary action against 989 troops.
“For the 791 subjects who could be disciplined for a sexual assault offense, 62% had courts-martial charges preferred (initiated) against them, 24% received nonjudicial punishment under Article 15 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, and 14% received a discharge or another adverse administrative action. This represents a 10-percentage point increase in courts-martial charges preferred from FY10. The remaining 198 subjects could not be charged with a sexual assault offense, but were charged with other misconduct,” the report stated.
The report also stated that the DoD assisted more than 770 individuals through its online and telephone hotline sessions and texting referral services from April of 2011 when it was launched through the end of FY 2011.
DoD established the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) Program in 2005.The report said that one of the primary areas of focus for DoD SAPRO is to increase the number of sexual assault victims coming forward and the percentage of sexual assaults that are reported.
“The Department’s statistics indicate that in 2010, approximately 14% of the estimated incidents of unwanted sexual contact were reported to a military authority. Underreporting of this crime poses a serious challenge to military readiness, as the potential consequences of sexual assault can be physically and mentally debilitating,” the report stated.