Sexual assault cases up 10% in US military: Pentagon

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Washington, May 1 (IANS) As many as 6,769 sexual assault cases in the US military were reported in fiscal year ending on September 30, 2017, up about 10 per cent from 6,172 reported in the previous year, according to a Pentagon annual report.

These cases involved 4,193 female service members and 1,084 male service members, said the Pentagon in its annual review on Monday, noting that other involving victims were not in the US military, Xinhua news agency reported.

The number of female service members reporting sexual assault went up 13 per cent, the Pentagon said. The number of men reporting remained flat.

The number of reports from the Marines increased 14.7 per cent, the Navy 9.3 per cent, the Air Force 9.2 per cent, and the Army 8.4 per cent, the survey finds, noting that in total, 81 per cent of the formal complaints in 2017 happened on duty while 98 per cent of offenders were male service members.

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The surge in the fiscal 2017 included two major online photo sharing scandals and high-visibility affronts, as well as incidents are on the rise despite greater awareness, said local media reports.

The Pentagon will need additional data to determine whether the rising number of reported assaults reflects an increase in actual sexual assaults occurring, or just an increase in victims’ willingness to come forward and report them, said Nate Galbreath, deputy director of the sexual assault prevention and response office.

–IANS

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