The Military's Sexual Assault Problem Gets Bigger

Military brass convene before the Senate Armed Services Committee to testify for a hearing on pending legislation regarding sexual assaults in the military. Military brass convene before the Senate Armed Services Committee to testify for a hearing on pending legislation regarding sexual assaults in the military. Susan Walsh/AP

According to Pentagon figures released on Wednesday, reports of sexual assault in the military have risen sharply over the last year. The Defense department received 3,553 sexual assault complaints from October 2012 through June, a full 50 percent increase over the year before. 

According to military officials, the numbers represent a move in the right direction. They're right in the sense that the increased numbers are probably due in part to women feeling more comfortable reporting rapes. But the number of reports just gives more evidence to the argument that the military has a serious sexual assault problem. 

As The New York Times reports, the number of complaints doesn't come close to matching the number of sexual assaults actually taking place: A separate biannual survey of 1.4 million military members found that "about 26,000 men and women in the military were sexually assaulted in 2011, up from 19,000 in 2010."

Read more on The Atlantic Wire

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