Sex Assaults on Military Reported Abroad


WASHINGTON - A victims support group said members of the military have reported 307 sexual assaults that took place while they were stationed in Iraq (news - web sites), Kuwait, Afghanistan (news - web sites) or Bahrain.

A statement from the Connecticut-based Miles Foundation, which first raised concerns about assaults on women serving in Iraq and Kuwait last year, said the alleged assailants included other members of the military, allies and foreigners. Most of the victims were women.

About one-third of the cases reported to the Miles Foundation also have been reported to military officials, the statement said.

Thirty-nine women have reported being assaulted while preparing to go overseas, the foundation said.

In January, Pentagon (news - web sites) officials said the military will begin providing confidentiality to alleged sexual assault victims in the immediate period after an attack, in a policy change designed to persuade more people to come forward.

In a report last May, the Pentagon acknowledged problems in preventing, treating and investigating sexual assaults on military personnel. The task force that wrote the report recommended a series of primarily administrative changes aimed at increasing awareness throughout the ranks of how to respond, both medically and judicially, when a woman in uniform reports being assaulted.

The Miles Foundation at the time criticized the Pentagon for not going far enough.

In 2003, nearly 150 women came forward with accusations that they had been sexually assaulted by fellow cadets at the Air Force Academy since 1993.

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