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(8,361 posts)
Fri Mar 25, 2022, 08:43 AM Mar 2022

House Democrats Grill Pentagon About Sexual Assault Tracking

Citing Prospect reporting, Reps. Katie Porter and Jackie Speier want to know whether the military is improving its sexual crimes database.

by David Dayen

March 25, 2022

Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA) questions Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell during a House Financial Services Committee on February 27, 2019.

Two California House Democrats are asking the Department of Defense to explain its actions on tracking cases of military sexual assault, based on Prospect reporting that the Pentagon suppressed initial research into improving its internal assault database.

Last November, the Prospect reported that Pentagon officials had known for years that the military’s system for reporting sexual assaults was badly dysfunctional, leading to chronic underestimates of the scale of the problem. Yet when members of the Defense Digital Service (DDS), the Pentagon’s technology experts, provided initial recommendations on how to fix the reporting problems in 2016, top military officials dressed them down. The DDS staffers were subsequently reassigned and the project dropped. Some of the individuals who participated in the scotching of the report remain at the Pentagon, and the problems with the database continue.

According to estimates, 1 in 16 women (and 1 in 143 men) in the military experience a sexual assault incident annually, and for service academies that number increases to an appalling 1 in 6 women and 1 in 29 men.

“Poor data management makes it difficult for DOD leadership to understand the scope of the problem or respond effectively,” write Reps. Katie Porter (D-CA) and Jackie Speier (D-CA) in a letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. This was buttressed by a report last May from the Government Accountability Office (GAO), finding that the data on military sexual assault that DOD is mandated by statute to collect was not comprehensive or accurate.


( Hat tip to The Prospect and our Dems! The fight goes on. )

House Democrats Grill Pentagon About Sexual Assault Tracking (Original Post) BeckyDem Mar 2022 OP
K&R 2naSalit Mar 2022 #1
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