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Sexual Assault In The Military Increased In 2018, Survey Finds.

A new Pentagon survey has revealed sexual assault is still a prominent problem for women in the U.S. military.

The ( 2018 survey  has revealed a 38 percent rise in sexual assault of women in the military. The previous survey from 2016 had seen a drop in assaults to 14,900. However, that number is now reported to have grown to 20,500 assaults, two hundred more than its 2014 survey found.

The survey pointed to women serving in the military between the ages of 17 to 24 as being at the greatest risk of sexual assault by fellow service members. It also backs up a report from earlier this year that revealed a significant jump in sexual assaults at three military academies.

Sexual harassment and gender discrimination have also seen a significant spike according to the survey, as has fear of retaliation. The data revealed that 64 percent of service members who reported a sexual assault fell victim to negative experiences and retaliation for coming forward.

( Dr. Elizabeth Van Winkle , the executive director of the Office of Force Resiliency for the Defense Department, said, "We continue to struggle with maintaining a climate that meets our expectations for good order and discipline and treating everyone with dignity and respect."

To address this, Van Winkle said that efforts to combat assault and harassment will be focused on lower-level and non-commissioned officers. "Our command climate surveys for a long time measured toxic leadership," she said. "What we're moving towards is that you're not only accountable for your own behavior but you're accountable for true command climate. You are accountable for what's happening within the peers underneath you."

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan ( told a House panel on Wednesday that "we're going to criminalize certain activities in this next year to reflect the seriousness that we're going to take on certain behaviors."

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Publication:International Business Times - US ed.
Date:May 3, 2019
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