The Department of Veterans Affairs released new research data that says sexual assault of military women who are in a war zone is very common. The new study says that close to half of women deployed to Afghanistan or Iraq reported sexual harassment. One-quarter of women deployed to those countries said that they were sexually assaulted, according to USA Today.
Over 1,100 women who served in Afghanistan or Iraq were contacted by researchers and asked questions regarding harassment and sexual assault while being deployed. Out of those who responded to the questions, 22.8 percent of women reported some type of sexual assault, including rape.
Of the respondents, which are anonymous, the survey said that 48.6 percent of women said that they had been sexually harassed while being deployed in a war zone. The majority of the women in the survey said that the offenders were other members of the service. In just under half of the cases, the offender involved was from a higher rank.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has called the record of prosecuting sexual assault in the military as an “outrage.” He ordered a review of all military training back in the month of September. The Pentagon released its report on sexual harassment and violence at the military academies last week. The reports show that there was a 23 percent increase in sexual assaults reported by students in 2012. This is the third consecutive year of increases.