Sexual assault survivors are pushing the military to have its #metoo moment

Sexual assault is a problem in the military, and survivors say Congress isn’t doing enough.

The #MeToo movement has swept through industry after industry since it went viral last October, toppling high-profile individuals by exposing their sexual misconduct.

But advocates and survivors say the nation’s largest employer — the U.S. military — has yet to see meaningful reform.

On April 30, the Department of Defense reported a 10 percent rise in sexual assault reports from October 2016 to September 2017, across all branches. The Pentagon attributes the rise to a growing confidence in the military justice system, but some advocates, survivors, and policymakers are skeptical, considering the report also notes that of the 5,110 reports of sexual assault in 2017, just 166 lead to a conviction in 2017.

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VICE News spoke with retired Staff Sgt. Merci McKinley about her own experience with sexual assault, as well as Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, who has been pushing for legislative reform to the military justice system for years.