This time the story doesn't involve Abu Ghraib or Janis Karpinski, so chances are the wingnuts won't be Technorati'ing, and I won't have to lean on the delete key quite so much.
From ABC News:
Reports of sexual assaults in the military increased by nearly 40 percent last year, the Pentagon announced Thursday, saying the increase was at least partly due to a new program that encourages victims to come forward.Story here, Pentagon report here.
According to a report released Thursday, there were 2,374 allegations of sexual assaults reported during 2005, compared to 1,700 in 2004. Of last year's reports, 435 were initially filed under a new program that allows victims to report the incident and receive health care or counseling services but does not notify law enforcement or commanders.
The restricted, confidential reporting program also allows the victims to consider pursuing an investigation later, and that was done in 108 of the 435 cases during 2005. Until that new policy went into effect last June, an investigation was automatically triggered by a sexual assault report.
"This is the most underreported crime in our society," said Roger Kaplan, a Pentagon spokesman. "The key, at least in the military, is to make it less. We want victims to have treatment. And the more who come forward, the better chance we have of taking action and getting the offenders off the street."
Kaplan said it is impossible to tell whether the increase in reports during 2005 signals any actual increase in sexual assaults. But he said he believes it shows that the military's extensive program in recent years to better train troops and to encourage reporting has been successful.
I'd like to note that if the number of reported assaults are up because of increased reporting, that means the reported assaults now more accurately reflect the number of actual assaults.
In other words, the point is not whether incidents of sexual assault have suddenly become more prevalent in the military, or if the frequency of these crimes has remained the same. The point is that there are a large number of sexual assaults within the military, and now victims are being given a chance to come forward.
Hopefully I won't have to delete any comments claiming this is why women shouldn't be in the military. Anyone with that low an opinion of men is too radical for this feminist.
Thanks to Redsock for the story. Now that you're blogging only about baseball, does everything else come to me?