MaleSurvivor has none of this information on its Facebook page and no press release concerning it, so I thought I would bring it up in this forum to make sure everyone is aware of it and able to discuss it.
Last week, the Department of Defense released its mandated sexual assault report for Fiscal Year 2011. Not suprisingly, the total number of assaults in the military rose from FY 2010. The military continues to estimate that over 85% of sexual crimes go unreported. Doing the math, that means that there were over 21,000 sexual assaults in the military last fiscal year. News story regarding Military Sexual Trauma
Below is the actual report released by the DoD:FY 2011 SAPR Report
In conjunction with the statistics release, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta announced new initiatives to combat the increase in sexual abuse in the military: SecDef Panetta's news release
The Pentagon asserts that "[n]ow those crimes will be overseen by the convening authority of a 'Special Court Martial,' typically an officer with at least a rank of colonel or, in the Navy, a captain."
Sadly, this change means nothing. Most commanding officers, by virtue of their position, are Special Court Martial Convening Authority at their respective commands. See
Art. 23(a), UCMJ. Therefore, this change will ultimately affect only a very small percentage of victims. Further, at least where sea service commands are concerned, the UCMJ gives the Commanding Officer of "any naval or Coast Guard vessel, shipyard, base, or station ..." special court martial convening authority. Art. 23(a)(5), UCMJ. This means that commands will still be able to prosecute perpetrators on their own with no oversight.
It looks like window dressing to me. But that is all the military does.