Sexual Assault Prevention Essay

771 Words Jul 8th, 2006 4 Pages
Sexual Assault Prevention

Sexual Assault Prevention
Every two minutes a woman is sexually assaulted in the United States (FBI, 2003). According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, sexual assault is the most under-reported violent crime in the United States. In 2005, the Armed Forces received 2,374 reports of alleged cases of sexual assault involving its members. Of these figures, the Air Force received 584 reports. That is an increase of 28 percent over the past year (DoD, 2005). The Air Force is concerned with the safety, dignity, and well-being of all its members. The Air Force does not tolerate sexual assault and has implemented a comprehensive policy that reinforces prevention, response, and accountability.
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The Air Force is focusing on eliminating those barriers by providing both unrestricted and restricted reporting. Unrestricted reporting is recommended for victims of sexual assault who desire medical treatment, counseling, and an official investigation of the crime. Since June 2005, military victims of sexual assault have been offered a restricted reporting option, which allows those who have been sexually assaulted to receive medical treatment and support without automatically triggering a criminal investigation.
In an effort to ensure victims receive consistency in support services provided, the Air Force has instituted essential training tasks for first response groups, such as medical personnel, law enforcement and chaplains. Furthermore, the Air Force has trained 201 permanent Sexual Assault Response Coordinators (SARC) to be on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Offenders can only be held accountable for their actions if the victim reports the crime as unrestricted.
According to a 2000 Criminal Victimization Survey, only 16% of reported rapes result in prison sentences. Furthermore, the closer the relationship between the victim and the offender the greater the likelihood that law enforcement will not be told about the sexual assault. The Air Force has been aggressively addressing this national problem. Military commanders have a variety of punishment options for alleged offenders. The disposition in…