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HARRISBURG, PA.—The Department of Defense Task Force on Sexual Assault in the Military has released its report highlighting the need for improved sexual assault prevention and response efforts.

For the last 16 months, Delilah Rumburg, executive director of the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape participated as part of a task force that conducted a detailed assessment of the Department of Defense programs, policies and practices that address sexual assault involving members of the Armed Forces.

Rumburg and others from the 10-member task force traveled to areas such as Iraq, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Japan, Italy, Germany and more than a dozen U.S. states to conduct interviews with military ranging from generals to the enlisted. The task force developed a set of questions that would help assess the quality of response and services when there is a sexual assault.

It also examined the judicial process and the implementation of primary prevention efforts. “We received information from more than 3,000 members of the military over the last year,” Rumburg said. “The information gathered through the last year helped shape changes and develop recommendations that will provide better prevention strategies and more effective assistance to those who have been sexually assaulted.”

According to the task force, the Defense Department has made significant progress in improving response to victims’ needs; however, greater focus and efforts are required to fully address sexual assault prevention.

“The unique partnership of the task force brought great insight to the work of the task force and especially, in the findings and recommendations delivered to the Secretary of Defense,” said Louis Iasiello, task force co-chairman.

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