Sexual assault reports at the three U.S. military academies rose 64 percent in the 2009-10 academic year, but many more victims probably didn’t come forward, the Defense Department said Wednesday.
DoD received a little more than 3,000 reports in fiscal 2010.
Maj. Gen. Gary Patton becomes head of the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office next month.
Jennifer Norris, a victim advocate at the Military Rape Crisis Center in Maine, said the Air Force report released Wednesday investigating the widespread scandal at Lackland Air Base made recommendations but didn’t address the military culture that allowed the sexual assaults to occur.
Reported sexual assaults at the nation’s three military academies jumped by 23 percent overall this year, but the data signaled a continued reluctance by victims to seek criminal investigations.
Four senators have introduced a bill to extend to members of the military the same whistleblower protections enjoyed by civilian agency employees. The bipartisan bill already has gained the support of one advocacy group — the Government Accountability Project.
Trust is a critical factor in the relationship between federal managers and employees. Without it, whistleblowers are retaliated against; minor Hatch Act violations receive severe punishments; and unsuitable employees are given security clearances. In our special report, Trust Redefined: Reconnecting Government and Its Employees, Federal News Radio explores what a lack of trust has created in government and what it will take to restore it.
It’s been 23 years since the Tailhook scandal rocked the Navy, and the Pentagon is still struggling to eliminate sexual assaults from the military. The number of reported cases is on the rise, but is counting cases alone solving the problem?
The Defense Department received more than 5,000 reports of sexual abuse last year, an increase of 50 percent over 2012. Leaders say the numbers show victims have more faith that the military will take their cases seriously. Not everyone is so optimistic. In our special report, Trust Redefined: Reconnecting Government and Its Employees, Tom and Emily spoke with Paula Coughlin on Federal Drive. She blew the whistle on the Navy’s Tailhook scandal in the 1990s. Today she is a board member of the victims advocacy group Protect Our Defenders.
A trio of inspectors general told the House Committee on Oversight & Government Reform today about obstacles they routinely encounter in obtaining records as part of their investigations into potential wrongdoing.