[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
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Tokyo government claims its homeless population has hit a record low, but analysts - and the homeless - beg to differ.
3D printers can cheaply construct homes and could soon be deployed to help victims of catastrophe rebuild their lives.
Featured
Pro-Russia leaders' election in Ukraine's east shows bloody conflict is far from a peaceful resolution.
Critics challenge Canberra's move to refuse visas for West Africans in Ebola-besieged countries.
A key issue for Hispanics is the estimated 11.3 million immigrants in the US without papers who face deportation.
In 1970, only two mosques existed in the country, but now more than 200 offer sanctuary to Japan's Muslims.
Hundreds of the country's reporters eke out a living by finding news - then burying it for a price.