Addressing Sexual Assault Crimes in the Military

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by | November 6, 2013

Congress and the Military continue down a rocky path toward addressing sexual assault crimes in the military.  A number of lawmakers have proposed legislative changes to the UCMJ and Rules for Courts-Martial, as CAAFlog discusses here and here.   

And the Response Systems to Sexual Assault in the Military Panel, which we discussed here back in August, will hold public sessions on November 7 and 8, at the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.  Here is the link to additional information.

It is impossible to predict whether the proposed changes will adequately address the problem of sexual in the military, because, among other reasons, no one knows the exact nature or extent of the problem.  There are no satisfactory statistics or studies that demonstrate how common sexual assaults are in the military and how this number relates to a similar demographic sample of the civilian population.  And worse still, no one seems to be bothered by the lack of real data. 

Adding to a lack of facts, today’s Congress, with notable exceptions, lacks significant military and combat experience. 

This creates an environment where individuals who do not have an in-depth understanding of the military are addressing unidentified problems within the military.  There is such a major push to make “something” happen, however, that regardless of these shortcomings “something” will be done.  The results should be interesting.