Pentagon Questioned About Sexual Assaults in Military

Both Democrat and Republican Senators questioned top Pentagon officials and officers last week about the military’s failure to protect servicewomen from sexual assault, to provide the proper medical treatment and counseling to victims, and to punish the violators.

According to the New York Times, military officials have reported 112 reports of sexual misconduct over the past year and a half in Iraq, Kuwait, and Afghanistan. The New York Times has reported that the servicewomen’s complaints have ranged from incomplete investigations to lack of emergency rape kits and medical care.

Senator Ben Nelson (D-NE) stated that he is concerned because he doesn’t “feel a sense of outrage by military leadership, not at this point at least,” according to the NY Times. According to the LA Times, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld ordered a high-level review of the reports of sexual assaults and the care that was provided to the victims.

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

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The New York Times 2/26/04; LA Times 2/26/04; Feminist Daily News Wire

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