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March-12-04

Air Force Ordered Study on Sexual Misconduct and Rape

An Air Force five-month review found that ninety-two accusations of rape by Air Force personnel were reported to military officials from 2001 to 2003 in the Pacific. According to the New York Times, the report examined how sexual assault is reported, how it can be prevented, and how commanders deal with victims. The report covered Air Force personnel in Hawaii, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Alaska, and Diego Garcia. After reviewing the report, the vice chief of staff of the Air Force ordered commands worldwide to conduct a more extensive survey on their sexual assault response programs, reports the Washington Post.

The report comes at a time when the US military faces major accusations of sexual misconduct in other areas of the world such as Iraq, Kuwait, and Afghanistan where there have been 112 reports of sexual misconduct and rape. Last month, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld ordered an investigation into how the Pentagon is working to prevent sexual assaults.

Meanwhile, Amnesty International and the Miles Foundation announced data on sexual and physical abuse of female troops, spouses and partners committed by members of the US military. The Miles Foundation has confirmed 83 sexual assaults against women in the military over the last 18 months in Kuwait, Iraq, and Bahrain. In addition, their report shows a sharp rise in domestic violence by US servicemen. The Executive Director of the Miles Foundation is urging the "military to do what it does best: give orders. Leaders must make clear that violence against any woman, anywhere, of any nationality, age, race, rank, or marital status will not be tolerated," Amnesty International reports.

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Media Resources: Amnesty International 3/5/04; New York Times 3/9/04; Washington Post 3/10/04; Los Angeles Times 3/10/04

   

     

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