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Immediate Release

Department of Defense Releases Fiscal Year 2019 Annual Report on Sexual Assault in the Military

Today, the Department of Defense released the Fiscal Year 2019 Annual Report on Sexual Assault in the Military.

The progress report, which is required by Congress annually, contains reporting information, feedback from focus groups and updates on the DoD’s efforts to prevent and respond to sexual assault throughout Fiscal Year 2019.

“Our work to eliminate sexual assault reflects our ongoing commitment to advance a culture of trust, respect, and inclusion within the force.” said Dr. Elizabeth Van Winkle, Executive Director of the Office of Force Resiliency. “We are acutely aware of the high cost of not succeeding, not only for the readiness of our country’s defense, but for the individual Americans who step forward and volunteer to serve our Nation. We cannot, and will not, waver in our commitment to eliminate these behaviors from our force and ensure that all who serve are treated, and treat others, with dignity and respect.”

Building on more than a decade’s worth of experience in the field and new strides in prevention science, the Defense Department launched in 2019 the Prevention Plan of Action -- a comprehensive approach to reducing and stopping sexual assault. The Department also introduced the CATCH a Serial Offender program -- a new, confidential, and empowering way for Service members and their adult dependents who have filed a Restricted Report of sexual assault to provide information about their incident or their alleged offender.

The Fiscal Year 2019 Annual Report on Sexual Assault in the Military also shows the number of sexual assault reports received in FY19 is up by three percent, compared to FY18. This increase cannot be characterized as an increase in the prevalence of the crime of sexual assault within the military, as an active duty prevalence survey was not conducted in Fiscal Year 2019. Traditionally, the survey is conducted every other year.

In addition to updates on efforts to prevent sexual assault and encourage greater reporting, the FY19 annual report also contains focus group findings that provide insights about how the military is changing over time. In addition, the Department should continue to focus on the youngest military members, specifically mid-level enlisted leaders who are well-positioned to informally influence our youngest members.

“One of our prevention efforts over the past year focused on preparing leaders at all levels to better reach our youngest Service members who are most at risk,” said Dr. Nate Galbreath, acting director of the DoD’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office. “Helping our newest enlisted leaders and supervisors create healthy unit climates will benefit our military and all those who serve.”

Department of Defense Fiscal Year 2019 Annual Report on Sexual Assault in the Military

Appendix A: Additional Accomplishments, Activities, and Outreach

Appendix B: Statistical Data on Sexual Assault

Appendix C: Metrics and Non-Metrics on Sexual Assault

Appendix D: Aggregate DOD Data Matrices

Appendix E: Safe Helpline Data

Appendix F: Sexual Harassment Assessment

Appendix G: Domestic Abuse-Related Sexual Assault

Appendix H: Child Sexual Abuse

Appendix I: Acronyms List 

Enclosure 1: Department of the Army Report

Enclosure 2: Department of the Navy Report

Enclosure 3: Department of the Air Force Report

Enclosure 4: National Guard Bureau Report

Annex 1: 2019 Military Service Gender Relations Focus Groups Overview Report

Annex 2: 2019 Workplace and Gender Relations Survey of Reserve Component Members Overview Report