Sept. 21, 2018

SWAN statement on release of RAND report assessing risk of sexual assault, harassment by military installation

WASHINGTON, DC— The Service Women’s Action Network is glad to see that the Department of Defense has finally released the RAND data on sexual assault risk by installation based on estimates from 2014. Military base commanders should welcome the data as a valuable tool to measure the success or failure of their efforts to prevent sexual harassment and assault at their installations.

The data is also a critical tool for service members and civilians at military bases to understand the sexual assault rate at their home installation, and should influence their decision of where to be stationed with their families.

“SWAN hopes that base commanders at all installations, but especially the highest risk installations, will examine the data and realize that any sexual assault reported at their base represents fratricide within their ranks and a failure in their duty to protect those who serve under them,” said retired Col. Ellen Haring, acting SWAN CEO.

In regards to the findings showing that there is an increased risk of sexual assault to service members aboard ships: “The Navy needs to acknowledge that ships require extra effort to prevent sexual assault and to deal with its aftermath. This should be an item for the leadership of every ship to pay close and continual attention to. Senior Navy leaders should use this data when they make command selection decisions moving forward. Navy commanders who commanded highly problematic ships should not be promoted or given even greater responsibilities,” said retired Navy Capt. Lory Manning, director of government relations at SWAN.

“SWAN intends to track this data and use it to maintain a focus on high risk installations to increase pressure on the military to remove commanders of high risk locations that show no improvement,” Haring said.

About the Service Women’s Action Network
SWAN is a national, nonpartisan organization and member-driven community network advocating for the individual and collective needs of service women. To date, SWAN has played a major role in opening all military jobs to service women, holding sex offenders accountable in the military justice system, eliminating barriers to disability claims for those who have experienced military sexual trauma, and expanding access to a broad range of reproductive healthcare services for military women.

Media Contact: Toni Rico |SWAN | O: (202) 798-5570 ex 22, C: (253) 318-0896, Email: