Following a new report showing a rise in sexual assaults within the military, President Obama said he had “no tolerance” for such behavior and vowed to change the sex culture in the Pentagon.
The report said 6.1% of service female service members reported “unwanted sexual contact” and 1.2% male service members reported the same.
Obama told Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, “We have to do everything we can to root this out… We not only have to step up our game but exponentially go after it.”
In response, on May 7 Hagel said: “This department may be nearing a stage where the frequency of this crime and the perception that there is tolerance of it could very well undermine our ability to effectively carry out our mission and to recruit and retain the good people we need.”
Some Democrat lawmakers are pressuring the military to remove reporting of sexual assault and prosecution of it from the chain of command. No one has been clear on how such charges would be handled if that were to happen, or whether it would involve non-military prosecutors.