U.S. Air Force (USAF) General Mark Welsh claimed on Tuesday that the staggering number of non-consensual sexual assaults in the U.S. military were somehow the fault of consensual sex, which he called the "hookup mentality."
“Some of it is the hookup mentality of junior high even and high school students now, which my children can tell you about from watching their friends and being frustrated by it,” Gen. Welsh said at a recent Senate hearing on sexual assault in the military, reports the Los Angeles Times.
This week, a Pentagon study said there were about 26,000 anonymous reports of sexual assault in the U.S. military.
Also this week, Lt. Col. Jeff Krusinski, the USAF’s Chief of Sexual Assault Prevention, was arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting a woman in an Arlington, Texas military base parking lot.
Nancy Parrish, of the anti-rape advocacy group Protect Our Defenders, stated in a press release: “General Welsh should know that the solution lies in reform of the military justice system and culture of misogyny, victim blaming and failure to prosecute perpetrators. It is a problem that requires leadership, not blaming the troops as an excuse.”
In March, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel ordered a review of the overturned sexual assault conviction of USAF officer, Lt. Col. James Wilkerson by senior commander, Lt. Gen. Craig Franklin.