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http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/24/us/in-debate-over-military...

In its latest report on sexual assault, the Pentagon estimated that 26,000 service members experienced unwanted sexual contact in 2012, up from 19,000 in 2010. Of those cases, the Pentagon says, 53 percent involved attacks on men, mostly by other men.
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Statistics don't tell this story in the most accurate form.

The 26K number comes from an anonymous survey where the umbrella ranged from forceable rape to unwanted contact and incidental contact. If asked the question; in the last year, has a male made an attempt to willfully make contact with my buttocks without my explicit consent? I may answer yes as I reflected upon a hard fought rebound and subsequent put back for two points during a pickup basketball game. In no way have experienced any form of trauma or feel as though I require counseling in order to continue to fulfill my duties as a result of that exchange, however, my response may have been considered unwanted sexual contact and counted towards the 26K reports within the sexual assault survey. This is something that has been identified by the HASC and more clear data is being sought in future iterations of surveys.

In no way do I intend to minimize the impact of legitimate sexual assaults in the military, but using that 26K number as the mark, I feel, is a bit of a stretch. That based on my first hand, yet utterly unscientific experiences.

These headlines are too often being supported by one, two, or ten of the worst cases imaginable and painting a picture of military life which is just not a true representation of service our country.

-Ryan
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These headlines are too often being supported by one, two, or ten of the worst cases imaginable and painting a picture of military life which is just not a true representation of service our country.

Agree that rape statistics (and the like) are frequently inflated. Should we use a multiplier of 2 or three for the exaggeration or is it more like 10?

Will the new policy on gays make sexual assault cases more or less frequent in your opinion?

I can see arguments going both ways. As the article suggests, it will take the stigma away from making an outcry. On the other hand, it may increase the temptation for some superiors or bullies to test the boundaries.
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I'm not sure which number I find to be the most accurate representation. I have been searching for conviction rates as related to the actual cases which where reported in order to try and determine a number which more clearly represents legitimate (I use the word legitimate very loosely there) sexual assaults as determined by a panel in a courtroom but that would fail to take into account the instances that do go unreported.

Great strides have been made to protect victims and ensure that their seeking medical care, to include mental health services, would not adversely impact their security clearances or other job opportunities. Restricted reporting is another example. But the issue still remains, in those cases, that there is an accused who may commit another crime and not be held accountable and ultimately prevent future crimes. What I do know, is that you cannot legislate this problem away.

As far as DOMA's being repealed and it having an impact on the sexual assault cases, I do not believe the two have anything to do with one another. Same sex assaults happen regardless of policy and same sex assaults are not always related to an individuals sexual orientation.

-Ryan
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It wasn't DOMA I was referring to, but dropping don't ask, don't tell.
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Do you have a link to the actual survey? I can't seem to find it anywhere. Thanks.
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