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As part of 92Y’s ongoing partnership with POLITICO.com, we spoke with Senior Policy Reporter Darren Samuelsohn at The Jefferson Hotel in Washington, D.C. about his coverage of the spike in military sexual assaults currently under review in Congress.

Samuelsohn describes in detail the drastic increase in sexual violence, showing that “26,000 people had experienced unwanted sexual contacts just last year…up from 19,000 the year before.”

He also explained New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s aggressive push to take the military chain of command out of the prosecution of these cases.

“She says that what that would do is essentially give the victims a feeling that they can trust the system. Right now they don’t report these crimes because it’s a very litigious process, it’s very complex, and they get put on trial often for coming forward.”

Samuelsohn also touched on the strain caused by constant re-deployments of U.S. military soldiers over the last 10 years of war:

“You have men and women who are gone for long stretches of periods of time…that does put a strain on their abilities to be back home and be with their families.”

Do you have solutions for the problem of sexual assault in the military? Please comment below.

This interview was filmed at The Jefferson Hotel in Washington, D.C.

92nd Street Y’s American Conversation is partnering with POLITICO to bring you “Political Speak,” a series of compelling videos with POLITICO’s renowned editors and correspondents analyzing the major political topics that define our time.