Washington, DC – A new report from the Pentagon indicates that military sexual assaults reports have increased, yet again, by an additional 8 percent throughout 2014. Following the dramatic rise of 50 percent in reported incidences between 2012 and 2013, this further demonstrates that sexual exploitation is integral to the culture of the military.
“The extensive availability and use of pornography is a root cause of sexual assault and must not be ignored,” warned Morality in Media Executive Director, Dawn Hawkins.
Hawkins noted that pornography is still sold on many bases and that military personnel have access to Internet pornography while on bases and during military deployments.
“These new and troubling numbers on sexual assault suggest that the Pentagon is doing far too little to change the culture of sexual exploitation in the military,” Hawkins said.
In 2013, Morality in Media called on the military to decrease sexual exploitation on bases by removing all pornography. These efforts included a letter to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and circulated to all members of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee during hearings on sexual assault. In it, MIM urged the Pentagon to enforce the Military Honor and Decency Act, which “prohibits the sale or rental of sexually explicit material on property under DOD jurisdiction.” Following pressure by the Armed Services Committee, the Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) removed sexually explicit magazines from their exchanges in July of 2013. Morality in Media will continue this campaign in hopes that other branches of the military will create and enforce similar policies.
MIM invites the public to get involved in the effort to stop sexual exploitation in the military by signing a petition to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, calling for the removal of all pornographic and sexually exploitive materials from military bases. The petition can be found here.
Founded in 1962, Morality in Media, Inc. is the leading national non-profit organization dedicated to opposing pornography through education about its harms by highlighting the links to sex trafficking, violence against women, child abuse and obsessive use of porn.