Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said he is seeking answers after a U.S. Marine posted a video describing her frustration with her sexual assault case, bringing new attention to a longstanding problem within the ranks of U.S. armed forces.
In the video, which was posted on TikTok Friday and has been viewed more than 1 million times since, a visibly distraught woman said she was outraged that her assailant would be allowed to stay in the military despite admitting guilt.
“And this is exactly why…females in the military…kill themselves,” she said. “This is exactly why nobody…takes this seriously.”
Soon after taking office last month, Mr. Austin announced that he would create a task force on sexual assault as a top issue facing the department. The video of the Marine reflects concerns that have plagued the military’s efforts against sexual assault for years, raising familiar questions about how perpetrators appear to dodge accountability while victims feel ignored.
At his first Pentagon news briefing, Mr. Austin said Friday that he found the video deeply disturbing and that he was asking his staff to look into the case of the Marine. Pentagon officials wouldn’t identify the woman but confirmed she is a Marine.