As recently reported on ThinkProgress.com, the number of sexual assault survivors in the military coming forward in the past few years has increased dramatically. Survivors feeling empowered to come forward is a HUGE positive. Obviously, we never want sexual assault to take place. When the crime does happen, we want every survivor to know his or her options and to feel safe coming forward.
The number of official reports of sexual assault among members of the U.S. military jumped by 50 percent this year, according to preliminary data obtained by the Associated Press. Officials emphasize that doesn’t necessarily mean the incidences of sexual assault increased; rather, they believe the data signals that more victims are now reporting the crime.
I’ve spoken on installations around the world where our military leadership makes it clear that eliminating sexual assault in their ranks is a TOP PRIORITY MISSION everyone is tasked with. Is much more change still needed? Yes and that is why the DoD (Department of Defense) is constantly working on ways to create even more effective educational efforts and campaigns.
Compare our military efforts to how many K12 school systems and universities fail to acknowledge the need to appropriately educate their students on sexual assault and respectful sexual intimacy. When I see schools and institutions reporting almost nonexistent numbers of sexual assault cases in their community, that is when I become concerned for the community. Acting like sexual assault doesn’t happen only helps it happen more often!
Over the past decade of working side-by-side with the US Military professionals, I have and continue to see how determined our military leaders are at working to find the best ways possible to reduce sexual assault throughout their ranks (and in their homes).
The latest numbers showing more survivors coming forward is evidence that education is having a profound and positive impact!