The RMWS provides DoD with unprecedented detail on the frequency of criminal sexual assault against its members, the nature and context of those assaults, and how they differ for men and women in each branch of service. The study also provides new evidence on the prevalence and nature of sexual harassment and gender discrimination in the military. Detailed results, including recommendations, are documented in four comprehensive volumes (available at www.rand.org/surveys/rmws.html); some of the study's major conclusions about the experiences of DoD service members are highlighted in this brief.
An estimated 20,300 of the 1.3 million active-component service members were sexually assaulted in the past year.
Approximately 1.0 percent of men and 4.9 percent of women experienced a sexual assault in the past year, or an estimated 10,600 servicemen and 9,600 servicewomen (numbers do not add to 20,300 due to rounding). Among those who were sexually assaulted, 43 percent of women and 35 percent of men experienced penetrative assaults — a higher proportion than was estimated using earlier survey methods. Nearly all assaults against active-component service members in the past year (90 percent) took place within a military setting or were perpetrated by military personnel.