Sexual Assault in the Military

Can the Pentagon stem the rise in incidents?


The Pentagon says about 3,000 service members reported being sexually assaulted in 2012, but a confidential Department of Defense survey suggests the figure is closer to 26,000 — up 35 percent over 2010. The revelations come amid several high-profile incidents of sexual assault at the military's prestigious service academies and in the field, sometimes perpetrated by the very officials charged with preventing such crimes. The Pentagon is under intense pressure to address the problem. Some in Congress want to remove the victim's commander from decision-making in sexual assault cases, but critics say that could negatively affect unit cohesion and combat readiness. Meanwhile, victims' advocates say as long as women are a minority in the armed forces, they will face dangers inherent in that status.

Anu Bhagwati

Anu Bhagwati, ...

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