'Pentagon ignores military sex crimes'
Victims of sexual assault in the US military say the Pentagon has turned a blind eye on reports of sex crimes and failed to bring sex offenders to justice.
Military veterans who say they have been sexually abused by their comrades criticize the US Department of Defense (DOD) for promoting a culture of secrecy that fails to prosecute sex offenders in the military service, according to a Tuesday report filed by a Press TV correspondent.
"According to the Department of Defense, nearly 3,200 men and women serving in all branches of the armed forces filed complaints of sexual assault in 2010. Some of them say they were abused in the war zones of Afghanistan and Iraq. DOD estimates that the formal complaints represent less than 14 % of all assaults.
"It's women and men. A lot of time it's men. It might be a hazing incident," said Patrick McCann, director of Men Can Stop Rape.
Although some progress has been made, some men do not accept women in the military and that attitude can lead to sexual violence.
"It's not sex. It's an act of power. It's about dominating and showing control over someone," McCann added.
Some 16 men and women have filed lawsuits, charging that the Pentagon neglected their complaints of being sexually harassed, assaulted and raped by fellow service members while on active duty.
"The military justice system allowed so many offenders to escape justice," said sexual assault victim, Myla Haider.
In 2007, DOD reported 2,200 cases of rape in the military. In 2009, the figure jumped to almost 3,300. Some 37 percent of the victims are raped multiple times, 14 percent are gang raped.
Reports show that as many as 3,250 reported rapes or other sexual assaults took place in the US military during 2009 alone. Military sources, however, admit that unreported incidents could be as high as 16,000 since 80 percent of the victims may have never reported such incidents for fear of reprisals, according to Mycentraljersey.com
The US Air Force recently released the results of a study, which found that 1 in 5 women and 1 in 20 men have been sexually assaulted while serving in the Air Force, Truthout.org reported.
Send to friendPrint this article
Add Comment Click Here
Note: The views expressed and the links provided on our comment pages are the personal views of individual contributors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Press TV.