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    Nearly 6,000 Reports of Sexual Assault Filed in US Military in 2014: DoD

    US Army / Sgt. Stephen A. Gober
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    The release of the report comes as a group of US lawmakers are requesting a change in the way assault cases are prosecuted. Under the proposal, the prosecution of sexual assault cases would be handled by independent prosecutors instead of military commanders that have been blamed in the past for overturning verdicts.

    MOSCOW, December 4 (Sputnik) — The number of reports of rape and sexual assault filed by US military officials has increased by 8 percent in 2014, reaching 5,983, a recent US Department of Defense (DoD) report revealed.

    "Fiscal Year 2013 featured a 50 percent increase in sexual assault reporting from 2012, and 2014 reporting maintained that gain and increased by another 8 percent. Whereas only one in 10 victims was reporting just two years ago, that rate has increased to one in four," the DoD report obtained by CNN Wednesday reads.

    The report is expected to be publicly released on Thursday.

    Despite the increase in reports, the actual number of victims of unwanted sexual contact has declined. The percentage of women in the military experiencing sexual assault has dropped from 6.1 percent in 2012 to 4.3 percent in 2014, according to an anonymous survey by the DoD. The rate of unwanted sexual contact among males remained almost unchanged.

    "Although the prevalence rates of sexual assault in the Department are showing a downward trend, even one sexual assault in the Armed Forces is one too many. The Department's goal is to intensify its prevention work to continue this progress in forthcoming years," the report stressed.

    The release of the report comes as Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and a group of US lawmakers are requesting a change in the way assault cases are prosecuted. Under the proposal, the prosecution of sexual assault cases would be handled by independent prosecutors instead of military commanders that have been blamed in the past for overturning verdicts.

    The issue has drawn media attention following a series of sex scandals in the US military in 1991, 1996 and 2003. The DoD launched its Sexual Assault Response policy in 2004, requiring the constant monitoring of sexual harassment in the military and providing support and treatment to sexual assault victims.


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