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April 08, 2022

GAO Finds Deficiencies in Armed Services Implementation of Measures to Help Stop Sexual Assault

At the end of March, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report reviewing the armed forces’ implementation of various sexual assault prevention measures per the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2020. The study reviewed requirements implemented during fiscal years 2004-2019. In summary, it found that the Defense Department had not fully implemented 18% of these measures, and the Department of Homeland Security had not fully implemented 16%. Among the unmet requirements are issues involving oversight, evaluation, and reporting on various military efforts aimed at preventing sexual assault, crime investigation, and protecting victim advocates. With 20,500 service members surviving sexual assault or rape in FY18 alone, it is important that these statutory requirements are properly implemented. The report included 23 recommendations from the GAO; the DOD and Coast Guard have noted actions they will take to address these recommendations.