- A GAO study of each military service’s ability to investigate and adjudicate sexual assault allegations.
- The Department of Defense to create a sexual assault prevention program and report to Congress on its status including an action plan for reducing sexual assaults and a timeline for implementation; a mechanism for outcome measurement; and training courses for commanders and senior enlisted personnel.
- The Department of Defense to report on the availability of sexual assault forensic exams in combat zones; any barriers that exist; and legislative actions needed to improve availability of forensic exams.
- The Department of Defense to report annually to Congress whether a Military Protective Order (MPO) was issued in a sexual assault in the armed services.
- The Secretary of Defense to ensure that when a military protective order is issued, the service member requesting the MPO is informed of their right to request a transfer.
U.S. Representative Michael R. Turner today called the Department of Defense (DoD) fiscal year 2009 Annual Report on Sexual Assault in the Military “alarming.”
U.S. Representative Michael R. Turner today called the Department of Defense (DoD) fiscal year 2009 Annual Report on Sexual Assault in the Military “alarming.” The report was issued today by the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office in response to language in the FY 09 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) secured by Rep. Turner and Rep. Jane Harman, D-CA.
The Turner/Harman language required the Secretary of Defense to create a sexual assault prevention program and report to Congress on an action plan for reducing sexual assaults. This fiscal year 2009 report cites an 11 percent increase from 2008 in sexual assault cases within the Armed Forces, a number that is extremely disturbing to Reps. Turner and Harman.
“This increase in reported sexual assault cases in the Armed Forces, in addition to the number of cases that are not reported to military officials, highlights an urgent need for improvement within the Department of Defense,” said Rep. Turner, a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee. “There’s an urgent need for a continued review of improvements to the way the Defense Department officials respond to sexual assault cases.”
The Turner/Harman language included provisions mandating:
In 2008, Rep. Turner successfully added language to the defense authorization bill that requires Military Protective Orders be made standing orders and that civilian authorities be notified when a MPO is issued and affects off-base personnel. After considerable review, Members of Congress agreed that the Military Protective Orders which were in use did not provide sufficient protection to uniformed personnel.
The report released today by the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response office noted that in fiscal year 2009, there were a total of 3,230 restricted and unrestricted reports of sexual assault involving military members as either victims or subjects. This is an 11 percent increase from the previous fiscal year. In fiscal year 2009, there were 714 restricted or confidential reports filed. Military service members may choose to obtain medical, mental health care and other services without becoming involved in the military criminal justice process if they choose the confidential reporting option. In 2010, 123 victims converted their reports from restricted to unrestricted, which is included in the overall total of 2,516 unrestricted reports.
“I will continue to work on behalf of service members and victims to make their concerns heard by DoD officials. Our military personnel deserve increased protections on and off the battlefield,” Rep. Turner added.
The full report is available at: http://www.sapr.mil.