Defense Secretary Hagel recently responded to a report that stated that sexual assaults in the military jumped by more than one-third since 2010 by offering changes to how the Department of Defense handles sexual abuse.
A report showing that sexual assaults in the military jumped by more than one-third since 2010 led Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Tuesday to order the armed services to take immediate steps to curb the problem among troops…
Pentagon estimates of how many troops are sexually assaulted show the numbers increased by 35% since 2010, from 19,300 service members believed to be victims that year to 26,000 in 2012.
This comes after an Air Force Sexual Assault Prevention Unit Chief was charged with sexual battery further highlighting the issue. Defense Secretary Hagel offered the following reforms:
• Holding commanders accountable for creating a climate in which sexual assault is prevented and victims are properly taken care of.
• Reducing the stigma for victims of reporting sexual assault.
• Enhancing sexual abuse prevention training and education programs for trainers and recruits.
Whether these changes will make any difference remains to be seen, but it is worth considering that DoD personnel already receive training on sexual abuse and harassment. There is likely a larger problem with culture which will be more difficult to overcome.