Monday, May 17, 2021

Study on Military Sexual Assaults Concludes that Rate of Assaults is Lower, Rate of Prosecution Higher, and Victims Report More Often than in Civilian Society

David Schlueter & Lisa Schenck, National, Military, and College Reports on Prosecution of Sexual Assaults and Victims' Rights: Is the Military Actually Safer Than Civilian Society, 56 Gonzaga Law Review (2021)  

In response to recent calls for major reforms to the American military justice system, which are apparently based on continuing congressional concerns about sexual assaults in the military, the authors present statistical data on sexual assaults from a number of sources: national crime statistics; military crime statistics; crime statistics from several states; and statistics from a university. The authors also present information on the tremendous strides that have been made in recent years to protect the rights of military victims of sexual assault, noting that some of those rights are not found in federal or state criminal justice systems. Finally, the authors conclude that the rate of sexual assaults in the military is lower than other civilian jurisdictions. Military victims report offenses at a higher rate than the jurisdictions examined. The military conviction rate for founded or cleared offenses available for prosecution is higher than in the jurisdictions examined. The military prosecutes a higher percentage of sexual assault crimes as compared to the total number of crimes than civilian jurisdictions. They recommend that Congress take careful and very deliberative steps in deciding what, if any, major changes to make to the American military justice system.

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