FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: John Hoellwarth
National Communications Director
AMVETS (American Veterans)
AMVETS National Headquarters, July 26, 2018 – Leaders from American Veterans (AMVETS), the nation’s oldest and most inclusive Congressionally chartered veteran service organization, joined Republican Senator Joni Ernst and Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand in calling for the Pentagon to release a new report that rates the risk of sexual assault at military bases around the world.
The report is based on data collected from service member in 2014 and reinforces the findings of a previous RAND study. The new report was set to be released earlier this year, but, according to USA Today, Pentagon officials delayed its release due to concerns over whether the study’s methodology followed its original intent.
“As we speak, there is a service member somewhere being ostracized, intimidated, and/or abused following a report of military sexual trauma,” said Jan Brown, AMVETS National 2nd Vice Commander. “Worst yet, somewhere a case is going unreported for fear of this same ostracism, intimidation and abuse. We know it’s happening, and the Pentagon needs to do all it can to prevent it, starting with the release of this new report.”
In May 2018, the Defense Department released its Annual Report on Sexual Assault in the Military, which showed a nearly 10 percent increase in service members reporting sexual assault in 2017. Earlier this month, AMVETS expressed strong support for pending Senate legislation, the Military Justice Improvement Act of 2017 (S-2141), to address military sexual assault cases and problems with how they are investigated by the military.
Rand is a federally funded, nonpartisan research firm. The methodology it used for this latest report has been legitimized by peer review, and it has the potential to help both prevent and respond to instances of sexual assault, Brown said.
“Our enemies win every time we let a sexual assault go unpunished in our military. It hurts unit morale and troop readiness, which ultimately threatens our national defense. There is no reason to delay the release of a report that could bring us a step closer to stamping out the long-standing problem of military sexual trauma,“ said National 2nd Vice Commander Jan Brown.
AMVETS is the nation’s most inclusive Congressionally-chartered veterans service organization. It is open to and fights for all veterans who served honorably, including reservists & guardsmen. AMVETS has been a nonpartisan advocate for veterans and their families for more than 70 years. amvets.org