Eighth Army forms sexual assault prevention task force
By Capt. Jay Taylor, Eighth Army Public AffairsMay 3, 2011
YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea - Lt. Gen. John D. Johnson, commanding general of Eighth Army here, recently created a task force to enhance current efforts to prevent and respond to sexual assaults across the Korean Peninsula.The task force is being headed by Eighth Army Deputy Commander Brig. Gen. David J. Conboy and will consist of ten other senior leaders from Eighth Army who will evaluate current programs, regulations, policies and procedures to make sure efforts in prevention and response are effectively combating this issue."Lieutenant General Johnson established this task force because he is laser focused on combating sexual assaults in our formations," said Conboy. "Sexual assaults are extraordinarily harmful to the victim, contrary to our Army Values and Warrior Ethos, and ultimately diminish our ability to accomplish our critically important job here in Korea."Members of the task force are scheduled to begin visiting garrisons and unit headquarters this month and will hold sensing sessions with troops, walk through barracks and other facilities, discuss unit best practices and review sexual assault statistics and dispositions of cases.According to the Annual Report of Sexual Assault in the Military, released by the Department of Defense in March, there were 3,158 reports of sexual assaults involving service members in fiscal year 2010. This is a decrease of 2 percent from fiscal year 2009."The [defense] department's position on sexual assault is clear: one sexual assault is one too many," said Clifford L. Stanley, under secretary of defense (personnel and readiness). "Sexual assault has absolutely no place in today's armed forces."Recent efforts, focusing on prevention and reporting of sexual assault, are credited in the report for reducing unwanted sexual contact of women serving on active duty from 6.8 percent in 2006 to 4.4 percent in 2010. A reduction of unwanted sexual contact of active duty men was also reported from 1.8 percent to 0.9 percent for the same years.Subordinate commands of Eighth Army will create liaisons to facilitate cooperation with the task force and assist with forums to identify and communicate localized efforts that are working to reduce and respond to sexual assaults."Each of our units have best practices to share and by capturing these and leveraging the experience and diversity of the task force we will provide the [commanding general] recommendations to ensure that we are doing all we can to prevent sexual assaults in 8th Army," said Conboy.The task force will be in Area III on May 11, Area IV on May 13, Area I on May 18, Area V on May 19 and Area II on June 1.The report is scheduled to be completed by June 30.