Today the Department of Defense released the “Fiscal 2008 Report on Sexual Assault in the Military.” The report on sexual assault, prepared by the Sexual Assault Prevention Office (SAPRO), provides Congress with an overview of the Sexual Assault Prevent and Response Program and data on alleged sexual assaults involving members of the armed forces.
In fiscal 2008, the department received a total of 2,908 reports of sexual assault involving service members, representing an eight percent increase from fiscal 2007. There were 753 restricted reports filed in fiscal 2008. The restricted reporting option allows a military member to obtain care confidentially without initiating an investigation. This year 110 victims converted their report from restricted to unrestricted.
“We believe the increased number in reporting means service members feel more comfortable reporting the crime and are getting the care they need,” said Gail McGinn, deputy under secretary of defense (plans).
The report also showed that court-martial actions substantially increased from 30 percent in fiscal 2007 to 38 percent in fiscal 2008, meaning that military commanders referred eight percent more cases to trial.
The department remains committed to aggressively pursuing increased reporting of sexual assault, providing first-class victim care and using researched-based prevention strategies to eliminate this crime from the armed forces.
The full report is available at: http:// www.sapr.mil .