Freshman Representative Anna Paulina Luna's (R-FL) first sponsored piece of legislation that tackles sexual assault in the military, has been introduced to Congress.
Named the "Stop Our Sexual Assault in the Military" (SOS) Act, Rep. Luna's bipartisan bill, was cosponsored by Representative Jared Moskowitz (D-FL). would mandate monthly self-defense against sexual assault for servicemembers.
Sexual assault and other unwanted sexual contact within the military have been a troubling issue, especially within the Navy, as the fiscal year (FY) of 2021 saw a record high across all six branches.
The Pentagon reports that 8.4 percent of female servicemembers and 1.8 percent of male servicemembers reported being a victim of unwanted sexual contact.
More alarmingly, the number of sexual assault reports received by the Department of Defense (D0D) in FY 2021 is the highest since 2006, yet the percentage of reports measured against the incidence rate actually decreased.
In other words, incidences of sexual assault or unwanted sexual contact have increased, yet these crimes are reported less often.
As a consequence, less than 40 percent of women in the military state that they can trust to be treated respectfully and with dignity, while 60 percent say they cannot be certain of protection after reporting sexual assault.
Rep. Luna issued a statement that "when I served in the military, I witnessed the lack of self-defense and combat training."
"When I served in the military, I witnessed the lack of self-defense and combat training. This bipartisan piece of legislation would ensure that out of the already-required physical training days each month for active duty service members, one of those days would be designated to self-defense/combat training," she said.
"As a veteran, I will always have the backs of our brave men and women who put everything on the line to defend our nation so that we can live in the strongest country in the world," Luna added.