Tue May 7, 2013
Sexual Assaults In Military Have Increased By A Third Since 2010
Originally published on Tue May 7, 2013 3:23 pm
A Pentagon survey estimating sexual assaults in the military finds that cases have spiked by a third since 2010.
USA Today obtained a summary of the report, which is due out later this week. The newspaper reports that in 2010, 19,300 service members were believed to be victims of sexual assault; that number went up to 26,000 in 2012.
The paper adds:
"According to the Pentagon survey results, only about one in 10 victims who are sexually abused stepped forward to complain last year. That amounted to 3,374 cases in 2012, of which only about 3,000 chose to press charges. "Far fewer victims report sexual assault that are estimated to experience it on an annual basis," says a written summary of the Pentagon findings. ...
"The survey revealed that while the rate of men suffering sexual abuse has remained steady since 2010, the rate of female victims increased from about one in 23 to one 16 last year."
The report comes as the military faces growing criticism over how it handles cases of sexual assault.
As we reported yesterday, the officer in charge of the Air Force's sexual prevention and response branch was arrested and charged with sexual battery over the weekend.
That's in addition to the more than a dozen instructors at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland who have been convicted of misconduct with trainees.
Update at 3:21 p.m. ET. Sexual Assault Is A Betrayal:
The AP reports that President Obama addressed the report during a news conference today. The wire service reports:
"President Barack Obama says military personnel who engage in sexual assault are betraying the uniform they are wearing. He says he has directed Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to 'step up our game exponentially' to halt such assaults.
"In a tough statement, Obama said he wanted members of the armed services to hear directly from their commander in chief that such behavior is not only unacceptable, but illegal and unpatriotic."