Academy Award-nominated director Kirby Dick on Monday decried the epidemic of rape and sexual assault in the military, noting that women were systematically discouraged from reporting sexual crimes.
“According to the Department of Defense’s own estimates, more than 19,000 men and women are sexually assaulted each year in the U.S. military,” he said on PBS Newshour. “Now if you multiple that by the decades that this has been going on, over 500,000 — perhaps even close to 1 million — men and women have been sexually assaulted.”
Those who report a sexual assault to their commanding officer often face conditions that only increase the trauma of the situation, potentially facing punishment for speaking out.
“Eight-six percent of men and women who are sexually assaulted in the military don’t report it,” Dick added. “And it is exactly for those reasons. They experience reprisals that are in many ways a second betrayal that is even worse than the actual rape itself.”
Watch video, uploaded to YouTube by PBS, below: