Pentagon Unveils Plan to Curb Military Sex Assaults

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced Wednesday a series of proposals to curb soaring rates of sexual assault in the armed forces. Under the new initiatives, anyone in the military who reports sexual abuse would be able to transfer to a new unit or base immediately. More funds would go toward training lawyers and investigators and extending services to military spouses and Defense Department civilians abroad. While 3,191 cases of sexual abuse in the military were reported last year, the number of actual assaults could be as high as 19,000 since the reporting rate is so low, Panetta said. His announcement came two days before the release of "Invisible War," a documentary on sex assault in the military. Congress will have to vote before any proposal is passed.

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