Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid Wednesday urged colleagues to include strong measures to help sexual assault victims in the military as part of the next major defense bill.
“As you prepare the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014, I strongly urge you to include additional legislation to ensure justice for victims of sexual assault in the military and to prevent these horrific acts against service members in the future," the Nevada Democrat wrote.
The letter, addressed to Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., and top Republican James Inhofe, R-Okla., is a response to Tuesday's Pentagon report that found sexual assaults reported by members of the militarywere up 6 percent over 2011.
A survey of personnel who could remain anonymous found that number of incidents could be as many as 26,000 annually, or 70 every day.
The figure comes from a survey that had replies from 22,792 active-duty military personnel, or 2 percent of the active-duty military strength.