Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today released the following statement on the Department of Defense’s latest report on sexual assault in the military. According to the report being released today, there were an estimated 20,500 instances of sexual assault – an increase over the 14,900 estimated in the previous 2016 survey. The number of women in the military who experienced sexual assault increased by 50% from 8,600 in FY2016 to 13,000 in FY2018.
“Almost six years after the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs said the Pentagon was on the clock to solve this problem, sexual assaults continue to increase dramatically while the number of cases going to trial goes down. The status quo is not working. It’s time for Congress to step up and bring accountability where the Department of Defense has repeatedly failed. The evidence is clear – we need to pass the Military Justice Improvement Act so that trained military prosecutors can handle these cases moving forward and give survivors confidence in the system. We must create an unbiased military justice system worthy of their sacrifice.”