Today, the Pentagon released the FY2012 Annual Report on Sexual Assault in the Military, showing the number of sexual assaults in the military increased more than 30 percent since 2010. According to the report, an estimated 26,000 service members were victims of unwanted sexual contact in 2012. This release follows Sunday's arrest for sexual battery of Air Force Lt. Col. Jeffrey Krusinski, Chief of the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response unit.
"This report should leave no doubt in anyone's mind that there is an epidemic of sexual assaults in our Armed Forces that must be addressed at the Pentagon's highest levels. Clearly, there needs to be a culture change in the military making the rape or assault of a female comrade a betrayal of one's service and country. This is going to require more than training videos and posters; it demands an absolute commitment from the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff down to every platoon leader and recruiter. Secretary Hagel and Chairman Dempsey have personally assured me this issue is a top priority for them. I intend to hold them accountable."
Congresswoman Betty McCollum serves on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense.