The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

Statement by the President on Department of Defense Initiatives to Combat Sexual Assault in the Military

I applaud the initiatives that Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta and General Martin Dempsey, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have announced to further combat sexual assault in the military.  The men and women of the United States military deserve an environment that is free from the threat of sexual assault, and in which allegations of sexual assault are thoroughly investigated, offenders are held appropriately accountable, and victims are given the care and support they need. Elevating these cases to a higher level of command review is a very important step. I believe that sexual assault has no place in our military.  I thank Secretary Panetta and Chairman Dempsey and look forward to seeing continued progress on this important issue.

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