Sex Assaults In Military Rising, Survey Says; Obama Orders Disciplinary Actions


The Pentagon estimated that 26,000 people in the armed forces were sexually assaulted last year, up from 19,000 in 2010, says the New York Times. An angry President Obama and Congress demanded action. A study based on a confidential survey sent to 108,000 active-duty service members was released two days after the officer in charge of sexual assault prevention for the Air Force was charged with sexual battery for grabbing a woman's breasts and buttocks in a parking lot. “The bottom line is, I have no tolerance for this,” President Obama said. “If we find out somebody's engaging in this stuff, they've got to be held accountable, prosecuted, stripped of their positions, court-martialed, fired, dishonorably discharged. Period.” The president said he had ordered Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel “to step up our game exponentially” to prevent sex crimes and said he wanted military victims of sexual assault to know that “I've got their backs.” The military recorded 3,374 sexual assault reports last year, up from 3,192 in 2011, suggesting that many victims continue not to report the crimes for fear of retribution or a lack of justice under the department's system for prosecution.

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