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Army striving to decrease sexual assaults, increase reporting.


Through its Sexual Harassment and Assault Prevention and Response Program, the Army hopes to change command climates to make victims of sexual assault feel more comfortable reporting the crime.

During a meeting with members of the press Jan. 26, Secretary of the Army Pete Geren discussed the Army's efforts to reduce sexual assault within the ranks, a crime he said that is not just an assault on a person, but on the whole Army.

"Soldier-on-Soldier violence, blue-on-blue--sexual assault is a crime everywhere, but in the Army it is a crime that is more than just a crime against the victim. In the Army it is a crime against the core values that bind our Army together," Geren said.

Geren has approved funding to provide 15 special-victim prosecutors--which will be filled from within the ranks by those that have proven themselves as especially effective prosecutors and who also have experience in sexual assault prosecution.

Brig. Gen. Rodney Johnson, the provost marshal general of the Army, said the service will add an additional 30 special investigators to be assigned at 22 of the Army's largest installations to assist Criminal Investigation Command agents in investigating sexual assault crimes.

An additional seven "highly qualified experts" are also coming aboard, Johnson said, to provide training and assistance to CID agents.

"We in CID already have highly skilled agents investigating these crimes," Johnson said. "But bringing the civilian expertise onboard will simply be a valuable tool to glean insight and a fresh perspective in many areas."

--C. Todd Lopez, ARNEWS
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Title Annotation:ARMY NEWS: From the Army News Service and Other Sources
Author:Lopez, C. Todd
Publication:Soldiers Magazine
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 1, 2009
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