Many US male soldiers unwilling to report sex assaults

Many US male soldiers unwilling to report sex assaults
Thu May 1, 2014 18:51:50

US military has witnessed a 50-percent rise in the sexual assault cases, while the actual number could be higher as many male victims don’t report the assault.

There were 5,061 reports of sexual abuse in the 2013 fiscal year which ended September 30, compared to 3,374 in 2012.

The latest data obtained by The Associated Press show that about 14 percent of the reports filed last year involved male victims.

Encouraging male victims to come forward and seek help is a difficult challenge for Defense officials as men believe reporting such cases will make them look weak.

"There is still a misperception that this is a women's issue and women's crime," said Nate Galbreath, senior executive adviser for the Pentagon's sexual assault prevention office. "It's disheartening that we have such a differential between the genders and how they are choosing to report."
The Pentagon report is planned to be released Thursday.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is expected to urge the military services to increase troops’ intervention in assault situations and better train bar workers in the military.

According to officials, alcohol abuse was a factor in as many as two-thirds of the sexual assault cases.

Under the US military's definition, a sexual assault can be anything from unwanted sexual contact, such as inappropriate touching or grabbing, to sodomy and rape.

A 2012 anonymous survey showed that about 26,000 service members said they were the victim of some type of unwanted sexual contact or assault.

Early this year, President Barack Obama called on the American people to help put an end to the growing number of sexual assaults in the military.

“We’ve got to teach young people – men and women – to be brave enough to stand up and help put an end to these crimes,” the US president said.

An in depth investigation by The Washington Post has revealed that many cases of misconduct involve US generals and admirals.


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