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Sexual Assaults Increasing In The Armed Forces

OPB | May 9, 2013 12:06 p.m. | Updated: Sept. 11, 2013 12:48 a.m.

According to a new study, incidents of sexual assaults and harassment are drastically increasing in the armed forces. A report released by the Department of Defense shows there were 3,374 documented cases of “unwanted sexual conduct” in 2012. That’s up six percent from the year before. The report is perhaps more troubling when looking at the vast majority of cases that go unreported. Officials estimate from a confidential survey of members of the military that the total number of sexual assaults increased from 19,000 in 2010 to 26,000 last year. That means only 13 percent of victims are reporting the crimes.

The study comes on the heels of news that the chief of sexual assault prevention in the Air Force, Lt. Col. Jeffrey Krusinski, was arrested over the weekend for sexual battery.

Washington Senator Patty Murray has introduced a bill to address the problem. President Barack Obama and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel have expressed concern about the sexual violence highlighted in the report.

Have you served in the military? Did you experience or know about sexual assault while serving? What would help prevent sexual violence in the armed forces?

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