Armed Forces News

More often than not, victims of sexual assault were not asked to state a preference in punishment for their aggressors, according to a report conducted by the Pentagon’s inspector general (IG). By law, victims within the military should be asked — whether the persons who committed the assaults were tried in civilian courts or by military court-martial.

The IG made the determination after reviewing 82 cases of alleged sexual assault or attempts to commit adult sexual assault, between Oct. 1, 2016, and June 30, 2018. The audit covered cases that occurred in each of the four armed services — Fort Hood, Texas, Norfolk Naval Station, Va., Joint Base San Antonio, Texas, and Camp Pendleton, Calif.
The IG found that:

* The Defense Department does not have an all-inclusive process of ensuring that victims are a sked how their attackers are prosecuted, or documenting such preferences.
* The department’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office “does not track whether victims were asked about their preference for prosecution.”
* Even though each of the armed services has issued guidelines that require victims be asked about their preference for prosecution, there is no policy requiring such preferences to be documented.