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Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment in the U.S. Military: Volume 3. Estimates for Coast Guard Service Members from the 2014 RAND Military Workplace Study

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The Department of Defense DoD has assessed service member experiences with sexual assault and harassment since at least 1996, when Public Law 104-201 first required a survey of the gender relations climate experienced by active-component forces. Since 2002, four Workplace and Gender Relations Surveys, as they are known in 10 U.S.C. 481, have been conducted with active-component forces in 2002, 2006, 2010, and 2012. DoD conducted reserve-component versions of this survey in 2004, 2008, and 2012. The results of the 2012 survey suggested that more than 26,000 service members in the active component had experienced unwanted sexual contacts in the prior year, an estimate that received widespread public attention and concern. In press reports and congressional inquiries, questions were raised about the validity of the estimate, about what unwanted sexual contact included, and about whether the survey had been conducted properly. Because of these questions, some members of Congress urged DoD to seek an independent assessment of the number of service members who experienced sexual assault or sexual harassment. The Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office within the Office of the Secretary of Defense selected the RAND Corporation to provide a new and independent evaluation of sexual assault, sexual harassment, and gender discrimination across the military. As such, DoD asked the RAND research team to redesign the approach used in previous DoD surveys, if changes would improve the accuracy and validity of the survey results for estimating the prevalence of sexual crimes and violations. In the summer of 2014, RAND fielded a new survey as part of the RAND Military Workplace Study. This report, Volume 3 in our series, presents survey results for the U.S. Coast Guard and the Coast Guard Reserve.

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  • Sociology and Law
  • Military Forces and Organizations

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