Sexual-assault rates spike in US military, sparks legislation
Sexual-assault violence must be eradicated from US military, requires strict rules
Published: Monday, March 11, 2013
Updated: Monday, March 11, 2013 18:03
According to the Department of Defense survey and the Pentagon’s 2011 annual report, the number of sexual assaults within the U.S. military has risen 58.5 percent in 2011. While the thought of one serviceman sexually assaulting another may seem hard to believe, it turns out the issue has been difficult to identify due to victims not reporting the incidents.
There are a number of reasons why someone would not report being sexually assaulted in the military. In many instances, the victims who do report the crime are deemed mentally unstable and considered as showing signs of posttraumatic stress disorder. Another issue is the fear of being identified as a homosexual by a serviceman’s peers, a quality that has been openly frowned upon by some members of the U.S. military for decades. Congress is currently deliberating over the Sexual Assault Training Oversight and Prevention Act, which would be responsible for investigating the problem and hopefully eradicating it entirely.
Given the massive spike in the prevalence of sexual assaults in the military, it is obvious the issue deserves more attention from government officials. The STOP Act must be approved by Congress in order to kick-start the initiative of ridding the problem from the military. If military officials continue letting people get away with it, the prevalence of sexual assaults will continue to rise. Support for victims and stricter punishment for the perpetrators needs to be enacted immediately because sexual assaults should never have been an issue in the military in the first place.