The Fayetteville Observer has this editorial faulting the military for some shortfalls in transparency. Excerpt:
But beyond dueling interpretations, we do know this: Military efforts to reduce and deal more effectively with sexual assault are still lacking in transparency.The editorial concludes with this thought:
The Defense Department's annual report on sexual assault in the military was released Friday. It said sex crimes are decreasing and more victims are reporting them. Service members, the Pentagon said, are showing more confidence in the military-justice system, trusting that offenders will be brought to justice.
But the problem has hardly disappeared. Last year's National Defense Research Institute anonymous survey found about 20,000 active-duty service members reporting they were sexually assaulted in the previous year. About 60 percent of them said they experienced retaliation.
At Fort Bragg, sexual assault and harassment reports increased slightly, from 103 in 2012 to 107 in 2013. In the first three questers of 2014, there were 96 reports, but post officials refused to release the final numbers for the year, or any data on dispositions, saying the partial numbers were released by mistake. The Department of the Army also refused to release the complete 2014 report.
There may be signs of progress but they're small and not satisfying. Tougher measures may be in order. It will start with transparency. There will be no solutions without a full, public accounting of the problem.