Military Sexual Assault Cases Increase - NBC 7 San Diego

Military Sexual Assault Cases Increase

Department of Defense says spike is linked to prevention campaign



    Military Sexual Assault Cases Increase
    Two U.S. troops died and six Americans were wounded, including four military personnel and two civilians in the attack.

    The Department of Defense says there was a double-digit increase in the number of reported cases of sexual assault involving service men and women.

    According to the Annual Report on Sexual Assault in the Military, 3,230 cases were documented by the end of the 2009 fiscal year. That's an 11 percent increase over the same time in 2008.

    DOD officials are actually encouraged by the increase, calling it a sign that a beefed up sexual assault prevention and awarness campaign is working.

    "This crime has no place, no place in our ranks. One is one too many," said Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in a 2009 public service anouncement used in the campaign.  

    The overall goal is to get more people  to come forward and report cases of sexual assault.  

    That's why the campaign emphasized a confidential reporting option that allows victims to get medical help and counseling-- but without the fear of their command being notified and an investigation being launched.

    The DOD's sexual abuse and prevention office believes more awareness about that option contributed to the uptick in reported cases.

    The campaign also offers servicemembers proactive advice on preventing sexual assaults.

    All branches of the military will kick off a new sexual assault prevention and awareness campaign next month.