At a recent White House Council on Girls and Women event, President Barack Obama addressed the growing concern over the high rate of sexual assault in the military and reaffirmed his administration's commitment to tackling the issue. 

"When a member of our military is assaulted by the very people he or she trusted and serves with, or when they leave the military, voluntarily or involuntarily, because they were raped, that's a profound injustice that no one who volunteers to defend America should ever have to endure," Obama said. 

The president added that the he and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel are currently working toward strengthening the military's prevention and response to sexual abuse crimes. 

Obama's recent statements build upon the continuing work of the Department of Defense, which began in August 2013 when Hagel introduced seven new anti-sexual assault initiatives. According to the DOD, these directives called for the increase of legal services for sexual assault victims and more follow-up reports on sexual abuse cases. Hagel provided an update on the military's progress last December, stating that these measures have already begun strengthening victim advocacy and safety, as well as DOD oversight and investigations.