To Address Sexual Assault, Eighteen Years Is Too Long

In 1988, Congress mandated that the Department of Defense keep statistics of crimes committed within the armed forces, including sexual assault, similarly to the tabulation of civilian crimes by the Department of Justice. This would allow crime rates to be compared between the civilian population and military personnel. Eighteen years later, the Defense Incident-Based Reporting System (DIBRS) has yet to be fully implemented, even though Congress has repeatedly ordered the Pentagon to complete the process.With hundreds of thousands of our soldiers on active duty defending our nation, we must ensure that servicemen and women are at the very least not at any more risk for crime than the general population, particularly in terms of sexual assaults. We cannot adequately do that unless we have accurate data about the crimes that are being committed, and we have been waiting eighteen years for the Pentagon to complete this project. I have introduced legislation (H.R. 5735) to give DoD a firm deadline to finally complete the implementation of DIBRS in the hope that it will not take DoD twenty years to get the job done. 

 

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