The Pentagon has agreed to kind a activity drive to analyze sexual assault within the navy, Sen. Martha McSally (R-AZ) stated Wednesday.
McSally, who just lately revealed that she was raped by a superior officer whereas serving within the Air Power, requested in a letter earlier this week that the Division of Protection institute a activity drive that will “start assembly instantly with a aim of getting suggestions prepared” to mark up the 2020 Nationwide Protection Authorization Act (NDAA).
“Hundreds of sexual assaults proceed to be reported every year, but only a few are held accountable at trial,” McSally stated within the letter to Performing Secretary of Protection Patrick Shanahan. “Though a lot effort has been put in direction of prevention and response to navy sexual assault, these numbers are simply insupportable.”
McSally stated in a press release Wednesday that Shanahan responded rapidly after she despatched her letter and agreed to kind the duty drive.
“My aim, and the aim of the Division of Protection, is to remove sexual assault and sexual harassment in the US navy,” Shanahan stated in a launch Wednesday. “DoD management is dedicated to fixing this and I look ahead to working with Senator McSally and our taskforce to seek out options that can remove this subject from our ranks.”
The duty drive will embody McSally herself, together with navy and civilian consultants. She famous at a current listening to that there are 6,769 sexual assaults reported throughout the navy in 2017, along with “possible 1000’s of others that weren’t reported.”
McSally was appointed in January to fill the Senate seat as soon as held by late Sen. John McCain, after she misplaced a detailed election in November towards Democrat Kyrsten Sinema for a unique Senate emptiness.
Sexual assault is pervasive within the navy. A 2013 survey estimated that the quantity may very well be as excessive as 26,000 per 12 months, and in accordance with a one other examine printed the identical 12 months in Medscape, greater than 30 % of girls within the armed companies have been sexually assaulted and 80 % have been sexually harassed.
Moreover, many service members face repercussions for reporting abuse, each skilled and social. As ThinkProgress reported in 2016, 1000’s of navy sexual assault survivors are denied well being care after reporting assault due to a apply of placing “PD” — or “character dysfunction” — on their data with no customary prognosis.
“Many steps have been taken by the navy over the past years and this physique — over 100 legislative actions,” McSally stated at a current listening to. “However it’s not sufficient.”