Victims of Military Sexual Assault much more Likely to Face Retaliation than Accused are to Face Conviction

Tuesday, May 19, 2015
(AP graphic)

As if being sexually assaulted wasn’t bad enough, victims of such crimes in the U.S. military face the risk of retaliation for speaking up about their attackers. In fact, they face a much higher chance of being punished or humiliated for reporting a rape than their attacker has of being brought to justice, according to Human Rights Watch (HRW).


A new HRW report (pdf) says 62% of military personnel who experienced unwanted sexual contact and reported it to military superiors were retaliated against in fiscal year 2014.


In comparison, only 5% of military sexual assault cases in FY 2014 resulted in a conviction (175 out of 3,261). This means victims were 12 times more likely to suffer for speaking out than attackers were to be punished.


It is no wonder that only 25% of victims report sexual assaults to military authorities, according to the human rights organization.


It is estimated that 18,900 service members were sexually assaulted in FY 2014.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Embattled Retaliation against Sexual Assault Survivors in the US Military (Human Rights Watch) (pdf)

Pentagon Underreported Sexual Assaults by not Counting Attacks on Civilian Women and Non-Military Spouses (by Noel Brinkerhoff and Steve Straehley, AllGov)


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