Study finds departure from military doubles following exposure to sexual assault

The odds of departing from the U.S. armed services doubles following an encounter involving sexual violence, new research finds.

Published by the Rand Corporation, the study touches on the 2014 RAND Military Workplace Study, along with military separation data from 2015 to 2016.

In brief, the study estimates that 8 percent of all military separations were associated with double the odds of a service member leaving within a 28 month period after a sexual assault.

The report suggest that sexual assaults were to blame for 2,000 more voluntary separations than expected and 8,000 separations for reasons of sexual harassment.

“This trend harms military readiness as well as the wallets of affected service members… Because military compensation is weighted toward retirement and deferred benefits, those who leave the service early may forego considerable compensation,” the co-authors of the report stated.

“It is likely that the actual numbers of military separations caused by sexual assault and sexual harassment are underestimated because this study only reflects a 28-month window of time and thus only a fraction of all the sexual assault and sexual harassment experiences during the careers of the service members included in the 2014 study,” the authors of the report concluded.

Image courtesy of John Moore
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