Thursday, May 3, 2018

Military Claims of Retaliation for Sexual Offense Complaints on the Rise

Military Claims of Retaliation for Sexual Offense Complaints on the Rise
Says former JAG attorney Sean Timmons


May 3, 2018 – Houston, T.X. – According to an annual Pentagon report more U.S. service members claim they faced retribution for filing sexual assault or harassment complaints last year than in 2016. According to the Pentagon Report, there were 146 reports of retaliation last year compared to 84 reports of retaliation in 2016. Overall, the Defense Department saw a growing number of sexual misconduct cases. The total number of sexual harassment complaints increased by 16 percent.

According to the report, it was mainly women who reported the retaliation cases after they had filed sexual assault complaints. Less than 20 percent of the retaliation cases were service members who filed sexual harassment complaints.

Some who filed cases, according to the report, stated that they felt ostracized and faced cruelty or mistreatment.
The report says 31 out of 85 retaliation cases filed were substantiated. Of those 31, the department took action against 9 offenders. The report says disciplinary actions against 14 others are still in the process.

In a press-advisory send to Cindy Sheehan's Soapbox, former JAG officer and managing partner at Tully and Rinckey said of this report: “Military reports and surveys on sexual offenses indicate a growing need for change. The sole purpose of someone coming forward with an allegation of sexual misconduct including assault, is to make sure the claim is properly vetted and investigated so justice can be served if the claim is substantiated. Unfortunately statistics would indicate instead, our service members who report sexual assault are more likely to suffer retaliation for reporting it than seeing their alleged offender convicted for the offense."

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