Pentagon: Sexual Assault Reports Increase By An Unprecedented 46% This Year

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Pentagon: Sexual assault reports up 46% (PressTV, Nov 8, 2013):

The Pentagon says reports of sexual assaults in the US military increased by an unprecedented 46 percent this year.

The number of reported US military sexual assaults was 3,553 between January and September, according to the Pentagon, up from 2,434 reports over the same period the previous year.

The recent statistics were included in a report presented on Thursday at the beginning of a two-day public meeting of the Response Systems Panel, an independent panel looking into the issue of sexual assaults in the US military, The Associate Press reported.

The report also showed that the number of sexual assault complaints rose across all service branches of the US military – Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines Corps, and Coast Guard.

In May, a report released by the US Defense Department estimated that reported cases of sexual abuse in the military, from groping to rape, increased nearly 40 percent last year, to about 26,000 cases from 19,000 in 2011.

The Pentagon report also showed that 62 percent of those who report sexual abuse in the military are faced with some sort of retaliation for reporting their cases.

Now, Pentagon officials are crediting the unprecedented surge in the number of reported US military sexual assaults this year to “victim confidence in our response system.”

“A change in reports of sexual assault may reflect a change in victim confidence in Department of Defense response systems,” said a Pentagon slide presentation prepared for the Response Systems Panel.

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