Hagan continues call to act on 'totally unacceptable' military sexual assaults

Earlier this month, the Pentagon announced a more than 30 percent increase in sexual assault within the military. In 2012, 26,000 military service members were sexually assaulted. Since the report, members of Congress have called for legislative changes to address the problem.

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Hagan said she was encouraged that the National Defense Authorization Act of 2014 is likely to include several directives including the creation of a special victims task force to help victims report sexual abuses, but Hagan called on Congress to do more.

“We owe it to our service members to think outside the box,” Hagan said. “They should not have to wait another day for this problem to be addressed.”

Hagan said she believes Congress should look into whether the military justice system is truly equipped to deal with internal sexual assault cases or if an independent process would be better for victims. 

Hagan also said Congress should do more to ensure than more sexual assaults are being reported since only 3,000 of the 26,000 cases were reported. She said service members are afraid of retaliation and a damaged military record, which is why more aren’t reported.

Hagan’s home state of North Carolina has one of the highest military populations. She's also up for reelection in 2014.