As the Air Force sex scandal continues, officials announce a 35 percent increase in reported sexual assaults in the US military. The increase included estimates that nearly 26,000 active-duty soldiers were victims of offensive sexual contact over the last year.
Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Krusinski, age 41, was recently relieved of his duties amid accusations of sexual battery. Krusinski served as head of the Air Force Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office.
As reported by the Chicago Tribune, politicians are outraged with the statistics, and Krusinski’s behavior. President Obama asserts that sexual assault in the military should not be tolerated:
“We find out somebody’s engaging in this stuff, they’ve got to be held accountable. Prosecuted. Stripped out of their positions. Court Martialed. Fired. Dishonorably discharged. Period. It’s not acceptable.”
The annual report, released by the Pentagon, includes over 13,000 reports of male soldiers reporting unwanted sexual contact. There were just over 12,000 incidents reported by female soldiers.
As reported by the Los Angeles Times, a documentary film called The Invisible War was released in 2012, recounting the stories of numerous women sexually assaulted in the military.
Filmmaker Kirby Dick has stated that the film was shown to an estimated 250,000 active-duty members of the US military. Dick hopes that his film, used in training, will raise sexual assault awareness in the military.
General Mark Welsh, US Air Force chief of staff, has used the film as part of training for his wing commanders. Welsh has taken steps to raise awareness due to numerous Air Force sex scandals.
Speaking before the Senate Armed Services Committee, he states that increased incidents of sexual assault are due to a general “hook-up mentality” that plagues the US.
The Air Force sex scandal, and reports of increased sexual assault, highlight the need for awareness and action. Women and men serving in the US military should not have to worry about becoming a victim of sexual assault.
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