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Senator McSally backs push to combat sexual assault in the military

Posted at 5:51 PM, Mar 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-21 20:51:53-04

PHOENIX — Senator Martha McSally met with officials at Luke Air Force Base on Thursday to talk about a subject very personal to her, sexual assault.

The senator briefed reporters outside the facility's gates Thursday afternoon. The meeting comes a few weeks after she made comments in a Congressional hearing in Washington that she had been raped while serving in the Air Force. McSally said Thursday she decided the night before the hearing to share her personal story.

The newest numbers from the federal government show there were 6,769 reports of sexual assault in the military in the 2017 fiscal year. That number is up nearly 10 percent from 2016.

"We don't know whether that means the rate of assault are going up or that people are trusting the system more so that they feel confident that they can report and that it's going to be dealt with correctly," said McSally.

The Senator says since her public announcement, there's been a task force put in place to deal with things like post-assault reporting and investigations. She says that will be the focus over the next 60 days. The group will also look at prevention, culture, and training.