An Analysis Of Military Sexual Assault And Subsequent Punishment
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In recent years, national attention has been drawn to the issue of sexual assault in the military. This is largely in part due to the number of reported offenses increasing each year, jumping 50% between 2012 and 2013 alone (DoD, 2013). Research has shown sexual assault offenses are greatly underreported and that the victimization rates among service members are higher than those of civilians (Turchik & Wilson, 2010). Past research efforts to understand why sexual assaults are so prevalent in the military have focused heavily on the victim and the effectiveness of preventative programs (Turchick & Wilson, 2010). Additionally, theories suggest that the isolated culture of the military and rigid rank structure may lead to an environment conducive to sexual assault and leave the victim with limited reporting options (Groves, 2013; Rosen, 2007; Snyder, Fisher, Scherer, & Daigle, 2012). The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between an offender's military rank and their subsequent punishment. Data for the study was collected from the Department of Defense Annual Report on Sexual Assault in the Military, years 2008 through 2012. Implications of the findings and suggestions for future research are discussed.