US military admits 50% hike in 2013 sexual assaults

US military admits 50% hike in 2013 sexual assaults
Sat Dec 28, 2013 19:36:41

Reported sexual assaults in the US military have soared by over 50 percent in 2013, new data obtained by AP reveals.

A new report obtained by the Associated Press from the US military confirms that “reported sexual assaults” among members of the American Armed Forces have surged by over 50 percent during 2013.

The report underscores the failure of the efforts taken to protect the enlisted from systemic levels of sexual violence.

This is while military authorities and observers agree that many sexual abuse cases within the US military forces go unreported for fear of reprisals or other forms of punishment.

The data reveals that there were more than 5,000 sexual assault reports during the 2013 fiscal year, which ended on Sept. 30, underlining sharp escalation compared with 3,374 incidents reported in 2012.

Of the total reports in 2013, around 10 percent involved incidents that happened before the victim was officially in the military - up from 4 percent in 2012.

More victims are stepping up to make official complaints instead of simply seeking medical care while avoiding formal accusations, Col. Alan R. Metzler, deputy director of the Pentagon's sexual assault prevention and response office said.

Pentagon officials announced in May that sexual assault incidents have increased by 35 percent between 2010 and 2012, bringing the annual total to 26,000 cases of some type of unwanted sexual contact or sexual assault last year. The results came via an anonymous survey.

The Department of Veteran Affairs also found that 85,000 US veterans received medical treatment for sexual abuse trauma last year, which indicates that the effects of such assault have far-reaching consequences, both financially and emotionally.

The new data shows that the increase in reports across all branches of the military range from 45 percent in the Air Force to a high of 86 percent in the Marines. The Navy saw a 46-percent jump in reports, while the largest service, the Army, saw a 50-percent spike.



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