According to the Pentagon’s latest estimate, based on a confidential survey, 26,000 active-duty service members were sexually assaulted last year — 6.1 percent of women in the military and 1.2 percent of men. The 26,000 sexual assaults represent a 37 percent increase over the 19,000 assaults estimated by a similar survey conducted in 2010.
The military has taken numerous steps over the past few years to reduce the number of sexual assaults in its ranks, but its efforts thus far have proved ineffective. The new sexual assault estimate indicates continuing failures of discipline and respect, virtues on which the military depends, and lawmakers aren’t alone in questioning whether the military has the ability and resolve to address fully the problem of sexual assault.
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