Professor of Gender and War. University of Sydney

Female Service Members Receive Backlash After Reporting Military Sexual Assault

SUMMARY: Pentagon leaders reveal that two-thirds of women in the military that reported sexual assault endure professional retaliation or other social ostracism. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said, ‘we’re not making enough progress in countering retaliation,’ after a report reveals that 40% of the women who reported sexual assault in 2014 claimed they suffered professional retaliation. With 22% of female service members and 7% of male members experiencing some form of sexual harassment in 2014, strategies need to protect service members that do report misconduct. Nathan Galbrath, senior executive adviser in the Pentagon’s sexual assault prevention office, said there has been an overall increase in the number of victims reporting sexual assault, with one in four victims reporting misconduct in 2014 compared to one in ten in 2007. Over the last few years, the Pentagon has introduced toll-free anonymous reporting hotlines and ‘restricted reporting’, which allows reporting without pursuing criminal prosecution.

SOURCE: James Rosen, May 3 2015, ‘Female Service Members say they face retribution for reporting sexual assaults,’ Norwalk Reflector,

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