This is an excerpt of the op-ed Jessica published on The Washington Post calling for the US military to take a harder line against sexual assault:
The Pentagon has taken steps to reduce the frequency of rape: It created the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office in 2005 with the goal of implementing prevention programs across the services. (A Government Accountability Office assessment of these efforts in 2008 suggested the military has only “limited visibility” over such incidents.) In 2009 it established a task force to study the issue and make recommendations.
But the military is still not making available accurate statistics about the extent of the problem or the services and benefits that survivors have received, so progress is difficult to measure. The Service Women’s Action Network and the ACLU filed suit in December, demanding that these data be released.
Sexual assault is associated with high rates of post-traumatic stress disorder in men and women and an even higher rate of PTSD than that reported by men after exposure to combat, according to the VA’s Iraq War Clinician Guide. Soldiers who experience sexual assault are also at higher risk of PTSD than civilians.