IAVA Renews Call For Washington To Address and Reform Handling of Sexual Assault in the Military
New York, NY (May 1, 2014) -- According to an annual study conducted by the Pentagon and released today, reports of military sexual assault increased by 50 percent for fiscal year 2013, from 3,374 reported cases in FY 2012 to 5,061 reported cases for FY 2013.
Today, IAVA CEO and Founder Paul Rieckhoff issued the following statement:
“While we are convinced that Pentagon officials are committed to addressing the issue of sexual assault, no one should confuse better reporting and more accurate numbers with actually solving the problem,” said Paul Rieckhoff, IAVA CEO and Founder. “These numbers show that there is still hard work to be done to reduce sexual assault in the military. Congress must fund and empower the Pentagon, and both institutions must remain vigilant until sexual assault is not a threat to the safety of our servicemembers. This is a matter of national security. If troops aren’t safe in uniform, they can’t be safe in battle. IAVA and its members will continue to push leaders for more reforms to address sexual assault in the military.”
Since its inception, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), the largest non-profit, non-partisan organization representing post-9/11 veterans and their families, has been a strong advocate for military sexual assault reform. The group represents our nation’s growing and increasingly diverse new veteran population.
IAVA’s specific recommendations can be found in our 2014 Policy Agenda. In recent months, IAVA has supported:
- The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which included landmark reforms, sponsored by Senators McCaskill (D-MO), Gillibrand (D-NY), Murray (D-WA) and Ayotte (R-NH), to tackle sexual assault in the military.
- Sen. Claire McCaskill’s (D-MO) Victims Protection Act, which included provisions to hold commanders more accountable for addressing sexual assault.
- Passage of the Military Justice Improvement Act (MJIA), introduced by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).
Note To Press: IAVA leaders in New York, Washington and across America are available for reaction. Email email@example.com.
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (www.IAVA.org) is the nation's first and largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization representing veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan and has more than 270,000 Member Veterans and civilian supporters nationwide. Celebrating its tenth year, IAVA recently received the highest rating - four-stars - from Charity Navigator, America's largest charity evaluator.