By LINDSAY JANCEK
Communications Director, Office of Congresswoman Jackie Walorski
Congresswoman Jackie Walorski, member of the House Armed Services Committee, expressed her concern with the high rate of military sexual assaults after a report released by the Department of Defense reported 19,000 incidents of unwanted sexual contact in 2014.
The report, which anonymously surveyed members of the military, showed sexual assault reports were up eight percent over 2013.
“Sexual assault remains a significant problem in the Armed Forces. While these findings show legislation I authored last year to provide protection for whistleblowers of military sexual assaults is making progress, I remain concerned that there were 19,000 victims of sexual assault in our nation’s military last year. One case of sexual assault is one too many and it’s clear there’s still a lot of work left to try and change the culture inside our Armed Forces.”
Highlights from the report include:
- 19,000 incidents of unwanted sexual contact in 2014
- One in four victims now reporting, up from one in ten in 2012
- 62 percent of women who reported assault faced some form of retaliation
Walorski noted the persistent high rate of perceived retaliation by respondents was also disturbing. “The alarmingly high number of individuals who feared retaliation after reporting abuse is appalling. I urge the department to conduct further investigations to address holding retaliators more accountable.”
A copy of the report can be found here.
In December 2013, President Obama signed bipartisan provisions into law, authored by Congresswoman Jackie Walorski, to extend whistle blower protections to military sexual assault victims as part of the National Defense Authorization Act. Walorski’s military sexual assault provisions specifically designate reports of sexual assault as a form of communication under existing whistle blower protections. Her provisions also require an Inspector General investigation into allegations of retaliatory personnel actions taken against victims who have reported alleged instances of rape, sexual assault, or other forms of sexual misconduct in the military.
Walorski represents the Second Congressional District in Indiana, where she serves as a member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, House Armed Services Committee, and House Budget Committee.