Press Release

Gillibrand Statement on Decline in Military Sexual Assaults

May 17, 2024

New Data Marks The First Decrease In Sexual Assault Reports In The Military In Eight Years

Today, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, released the following statement on the Department of Defense’s (DoD) announcement of a substantial decline in military sexual assault and harassment. DoD’s Fiscal Year 2023 Annual Report on Sexual Assault in the Military shows an estimated 19% decrease in unwanted sexual contact for active duty women and an estimated 13% decrease for active duty men when compared to 2021. 

This report shows a promising trend,” said Senator Gillibrand. “As a longtime chair of the Senate Armed Services Personnel Subcommittee, I fought for years to fundamentally reform how the military deals with sexual assault among its ranks. As those reforms begin to go into effect, I hope to see these numbers go down even further in the coming years and will be vigilant with continued oversight of the implementation. Despite progress, there is still too much troubling news in the report.”

The full DoD report is available here

For nearly a decade, Gillibrand fought alongside survivors, veterans and legal experts to build a broad bipartisan coalition to fundamentally change the military justice system. In the FY2023 defense bill, Gillibrand successfully incorporated her legislation to remove judicial functions and prosecutorial decisions from the chain of command for certain serious crimes, including sexual assault, and put them in the hands of trained, professional military prosecutors. This bipartisan reform was supported by leading veterans service organizations and advocacy groups, including VFW, IAVA, the American Legion, Vietnam Veterans of America, Protect Our Defenders, National Alliance to End Sexual Violence, SWAN, National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), Common Defense, and Veterans Recovery Project.