A special panel reviewing Department of Defense policy announced last week that sexual assault and harassment investigations in the armed forces should be handled by independent judge advocates in the future. This would alter the current course, which puts accusations in the hands of commanding officers. The panel’s suggestions come as over 20,000 military members report being assaulted sexually in 2019, up 37 percent from 2017. Increased scrutiny and attention highlight the rise in women, who make up over 60 percent of the assault victims, leaving the armed forces.
The panel, led by White House appointees, announced the finding 30 days into their 90-day convening. Whereas previous studies have been filled with Pentagon selections, the Biden administration chose the members and selected an Obama appointee to chair. This new panel joins a new Senate Chair to the Armed Services Personnel Subcommittee, who seeks new solutions to increase the low rate of court-martials and convictions from the thousands of annual sexual assault and harassment accusations. The commission has also been charged with offering better care and support to victims and reforming the military culture to dissuade such actions.
Even outside the military, the low conviction rate of sexual assaults can make it difficult for victims to come forward and tell their stories. It can be almost too much to relive the event and try to pursue justice. However, it helps to have an experienced ally on your side. Let the sexual abuse law team at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. work with you to pursue your case and fight to get as much justice and benefits you deserve. Call us today at 302-656-5445 or contact us online for a free consultation. With offices in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, we are pleased to serve our neighbors in Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.