[QODLink]
Americas

Pentagon releases sexual harassment figures

Report by Department of Defense says 1,366 cases were filed and 13 per cent of complaints involved repeat offenders.

Last updated: 16 May 2014 00:18
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Officials believe harassment in the military is often under-reported [Reuters]

The United States military fired or disciplined nearly 500 service members for sexual harassment in a 12-month period, with nearly 13 percent of complaints filed involving repeat offenders.

The Department of Defense released its first formal report on sexual harassment in a briefing on Thursday that came amid criticism from Congress over how the department handles sexual assaults and related crimes.

The report says that 1,366 reports of sexual harassment were filed in the fiscal year that ended on September 30. The cases involved 496 offenders across the services and National Guard. Of the cases reported, 59 percent were substantiated, the report adds.

Stronger mechanisms

Department officials believe harassment in the military is often under-reported.

"We want a climate where everybody reports whenever they’re offended," an official quoted in the Pentagon’s press release said. "We are not leaving any options off the table to prevent sexual harassment."

The department is expected to place a greater emphasis on improving oversight and training, as well as putting stronger mechanisms in place for managing sexual harassment incidents, the Pentagon said.

The reported harassment cases across the military were significantly lower than the number of reported sexual assaults. Earlier this month, the department reported 5,061 cases of sexual assault for the fiscal year, a 50-percent increase over the previous year.

Defence officials said assaults were often preceded by harassment.

240

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Featured on Al Jazeera
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Featured
People are starving in southern Somalia while relief efforts are blocked by government and rebel fighting.
Some scientists say authorities in favour of nuclear energy tend to deny the negative results of researchers.
Report on child sex abuse in British Asian community highlights issues that may affect the entire nation.
Taliban makes quick gains in Afghanistan with little opposition from Afghan army as US withdrawal begins.
Experts from Minamata, Japan check for signs of mercury illnesses in Ontario, Canada.
join our mailing list