April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and Carl Castro, associate professor at the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work, discusses what is currently known about the scope of the issue within the military. As director of the school’s Center for Innovation and Research on Veterans & Military Families, Castro and colleagues have conducted research into various aspects, including the root causes, numerous myths, and the role that military culture can contribute to sexual assault. In this audio segment, Castro also discusses the importance of supporting victims of sexual assault in the military, especially because of its long-term effects that a service member may have to deal with long after they’ve left the military and are navigating their way back into civilian life.


Sexual assaults often aren’t reported. Estimates range anywhere from 80 to 90 percent of sexual assaults that occur in the military go unreported. … This generally means that these individuals don’t get care or support that they might need to handle and adjust and deal with the sexual assault. When they leave the military they still have all these unaddressed issues surrounding the sexual assault that you then will eventually address as you’re trying to transition back to civilian community.

Carl Castro, PhD
Associate Professor and Director

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