Pentagon Study Finds 50% Increase in Reports of Military Sexual Assaults

from A Pentagon study released Thursday showed a sharp increase last year in reports of rapes and sexual assault — they were up by 50 percent — but the study immediately came under fire for what critics said were significant limitations. White House and Defense Department officials characterized the much-anticipated study as a welcome sign that victims are more comfortable reporting assaults and that victims perceive the Pentagon to be taking the problem seriously. But critics of the study said there was no way to know if the increase in reporting meant that there were more sexual assaults over all in 2013. Unlike in previous years, the study did not estimate how many sexual assaults took place over all in 2013. In 2012, a confidential Pentagon survey estimated that 26,000 men and women were sexually assaulted. Of those, 3,374 cases were reported.

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