Congress to Look at Sexual Abuse in the Military

U.S. Lawmakers have expressed concern over widespread allegations of sexual misconduct and will form a congressional panel to conduct hearings on sexual abuse in the military before the end of January. The abuse occurred between military training instructors and recruits.

After the scandal broke out, the Air Force removed thirty military training instructors in Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio from duty. Six instructors have already been convicted in court. Charges range from inappropriate relationships to rape, and with sentences ranging from 30 days to 20 years.

However, military judges are said to have rejected the removal of some of the training instructors. The military also refused to switch to same-sex basic training, where female sergeants work with female trainees and vice versa. More female training sergeants were added to the ranks due to the scandal.

Advocates for people sexually abused in the military praised the committee and said a public hearing will go a long way toward dealing with an issue they say goes beyond a few dozen instructors at the Air Force’s basic training base.

“This is not just a crisis in the training commands, it is throughout the armed forces and has been for decades,” said Nancy Parrish, president of the advocacy group Protect Our Defenders. “The epidemic of sexual assault in our military must be addressed systematically and this requires congressional hearings and legislation.” Hartford Courant, January 8, 2013

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