U.S. Military Sees 3% Increase in Sexual Assault, 81% of Victims Female

Published by Matt Fishman on

According to a Department of Defense (DOD) annual report on sexual assault in the U.S. military, in 2019 there were “7,825 reports of sexual assault involving Service members as either victims or subjects…, approximately a 3 percent increase from reports made in [2018].”

They found that 81 percent of these sexual assault victims were female and 76 percent of subjects were male. In 2018, approximately 24.2 percent of active duty women reported experiencing sexual harassment.

Sexual assault is defined by the DOD to include “rape, sexual assault, forcible sodomy, aggravated sexual contact, abusive sexual contact, and attempts to commit these offenses”.

The DOD report clarified the “underreported” nature of sexual assault crimes, indicating that the number of individuals who report the crime “falls far short of the number of individuals who have likely experienced the crime.” As a result, they implement an estimation technique called Workplace and Gender Relations Survey of the Active Duty Members, or WGRA. WGRA estimates the actual total of sexual assault cases within the U.S. military to be closer to 25,000.