A report by the US Army’s Independent Investigation Commission revealed on Friday that there have been 135,000 sexual assaults and 509,000 cases of sexual harassment in the last 11 years.
This committee was formed to investigate the incidents of sexual harassment in the US military after Lloyd Austin took over the Ministry of Defense.
The report indicated that the leaders in the army failed to find a solution to this problem.
The report included harsh criticism of the leaders in the army.
He also presented an account of sexual assaults and cases of harassment within the army.
He pointed out that a previous report issued in 2010 stated that solving the issue of harassment in the army takes about 10 years.
The report added that the Ministry of Defense estimates that about 135 thousand (65,400 women and 69,600 men) have been subjected to sexual assault, and nearly 509,000 (223,000 women and 286,000 men) have been subjected to harassment, during the past 11 years.
The report pointed out that there was a partial decline in these incidents in 2016, but in 2018, more than 20,000 military personnel (13,000 women and 7,500 men) were subjected to sexual harassment or assault.
The report confirmed that 8,000 reports of sexual harassment were registered annually on average, while only 1,781 reports were registered in 2020.
The report clarified that the military justice system is insufficient to handle harassment cases and that commanders have failed to find a solution to this problem.
Following the report, Minister Austin published a circular in which he indicated that they would work to authorize the civilian judiciary to consider cases of harassment and sexual assault in the military, by making an amendment to the Military Justice Law.
He also confirmed that new steps will be taken regarding accountability and support for those who have been sexually harassed or assaulted.
In turn, US President Joe Biden expressed, in a statement, his support for the commission’s basic recommendations, including removing the issue of sexual assault investigations from the military chain of command and establishing specialized units to look into these issues.