Thursday Dec 20, 201209:41 AM GMT
Reported sex assaults at military academies jump by 23 percent
Thu Dec 20, 2012 9:41AM
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The Invisible War is a 2012 documentary film written and directed by Kirby Dick about sexual assault in the United States military.

 

Reported sexual assaults at the nation's three military academies jumped by 23 percent overall this year, but the data signaled a continued reluctance by victims to seek criminal investigations, according to a report obtained by the Associated Press.

 

The number of assaults rose from 65 in the 2011 academic year to 80 in 2012, the report said. However, nearly half the assaults involved victims who sought confidential medical or other care and did not trigger an investigation. There were 41 assaults reported in 2010.

 

Reported sexual assaults have climbed steadily since the 2009 academic year. The Defense Department has urged the academies to take steps to encourage cadets and midshipmen at the Army, Navy and Air Force academies to report sexual harassment and assaults in order to get care to everyone and hold aggressors accountable.

 

The number of assaults reported by the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., and the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., increased, while reports at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., declined.

 

In addition to the sexual assault report, the military also is releasing the results of its biannual anonymous survey of academy students, which showed that 12 percent of the women said they experienced "unwanted sexual contact" and 51 percent said they were sexually harassed. Of the men, 2 percent experienced unwanted contact and 10 percent said they were sexually harassed.

 

The report divides the assaults into two categories, restricted and unrestricted. Unrestricted reports rose slightly from 38 last year to 42 this year, and those are provided to either law enforcement or military commanders for an investigation. Restricted reports jumped from 27 last year to 38 this year, and in those cases victims sought medical care and advocacy services but did not seek an official investigation.

 

FACTS & FIGURES

 

Rape within the U.S. military has become so widespread that it is estimated that a female soldier is more likely to be attacked by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire. The Guardian

 

There were nearly 3,200 military sexual assaults reported in 2011 despite the Defense Department's "zero tolerance" policy. Given that most sexual assaults are not reported, the Pentagon estimates the actual number was probably closer to 19,000. CNN

 

A U.S soldier committed a violent sex crime every six hours and 40 minutes in 2011, a rate far above that of the general population. The Huffington Post

 

Last year, 17 veterans and active-duty service members in the U.S. military filed a landmark lawsuit accusing the Pentagon of looking the other way despite frequent reports of rape and other abuse against women in the armed forces. The Week

 

Japanese prosecutors indicted two American sailors on charges that they raped a Japanese woman on the island of Okinawa in November, a case that has deepened tensions between local residents and the U.S. military. CNN

 

AHT/ARA

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