Military's sexual-assault problem has deep roots

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Associated Press

Posted on June 2, 2013 at 8:34 AM

Updated Sunday, Jun 2 at 9:30 AM

NEW YORK (AP) — Sexual assault occurs in many settings, and the perpetrators come from every part of U.S. society.

Yet as recent incidents and reports make clear, it's a particularly intractable problem in the military, with its enduring macho culture and unique legal system.

Advocates for change say one significant factor is the perception by many victims in the military that they lack the recourses available in the civilian world to bring assailants to justice.

The military insists it takes the problem seriously and has implemented numerous policies and programs to reduce the assaults.

But the problem persists.

A recent Pentagon report estimates that 26,000 service members were sexually assaulted last year, up from 19,000 in 2011. Victims reported 3,374 incidents in 2012, and there were convictions in 238 of those cases.

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