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Pentagon Issues New Policies to Prevent Sexual Assault in the Military

Following sexual assault scandals in Iraq and at the Air Force Academy, the Pentagon has issued new policies to prevent these types of crimes from occurring, to investigate cases more thoroughly, and to treat victims with more consideration. According to the LA Times, part of the Pentagon’s plan is to establish definitions of sexual assault and harassment and to designate a sexual assault response coordinator at every US military installation in the world, including all military branches, service academies, and other academic institutions.

Several victims’ rights groups argue that the Pentagon should have independent groups police and investigate cases of sexual abuse. “We can’t expect the same system that’s been allowing this for decades to change overnight,” said Dorothy Mackey, a former Air Force officer and executive director of a national advocacy group for victims of assault by military personnel, reports the LA Times.

Women make up approximately 15 percent of the overall military and about 10 percent of US troops currently in Iraq.

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Sources:

New York Times 1/5/05; LA Times 1/5/05