Violent sex crimes by U.S. Army soldiers rise: report

Thu Jan 19, 2012 8:37pm EST

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(Reuters) - Violent sex crimes committed by active U.S. Army soldiers have almost doubled over the past five years, due in part to the trauma of war, according to an Army report released on Thursday.

Reported violent sex crimes increased by 90 percent over the five-year period from 2006 to 2011. There were 2,811 violent felonies in 2011, nearly half of which were violent felony sex crimes. Most were committed in the United States.

One violent sex crime was committed by a soldier every six hours and 40 minutes in 2011, the Army said, serving as the main driver for an overall increase in violent felony crimes.

Higher rates of violent sex crimes are "likely outcomes" of intentional misconduct, lax discipline, post-combat adrenaline, high levels of stress and behavioral health issues, the report said.

"While we have made tremendous strides over the past decade, there is still much work to be done," Army Vice Chief of Staff General Peter Chiarelli said in a statement.

"Many of our biggest challenges lie ahead after our soldiers return home and begin the process of reintegrating back into their units, families and communities," Chiarelli said.

Violent sex crimes committed by U.S. Army troops increased at a rate that consistently outpaced the national trend, a gap that is expected to continue to grow, the Army said.

The top five violent felony offenses committed by soldiers in 2011 were aggravated assault, rape, aggravated sexual assault, forcible sodomy and child pornography.

Soldiers suffering from issues such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury, and depression have been shown to have higher incidences of partner abuse, according to the report.

Soldiers with PTSD are up to three times more likely to be aggressive with their female partners than those without such trauma, the report said.

The report also said that family abuse cases are typically underreported.

As the largest branch of the U.S. armed forces, the Army has done the bulk of the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, including years of extended duty and repeated deployments. The rate of suicides among Army soldiers was steady in 2011 after years of rising, the report said.

(Editing by Greg McCune and Cynthia Osterman)

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Comments (4)
NewsDebbie wrote:
Add this (“The top five violent felony offenses committed by soldiers in 2011 were aggravated assault, rape, aggravated sexual assault, forcible sodomy, and child pornography.”) to the peeing Marines and it is evidence we should rethink foreign policy of agressive offense attacks v defense as is stated in the Constitution.

Jan 19, 2012 8:18pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Cocogrrrlll wrote:
Why is it that some shlub can get his comments published 4 times all saying the same spammy thing but 90% of my comments at reuters NEVER get posted?

Jan 19, 2012 9:46pm EST  --  Report as abuse
dwinstone wrote:
I do not buy that war trauma has created an environment that rapists, sexual abusers, violent attackers justify /defender their acts because of their service. War by its very nature creates an environment where atrocities may occur. Those given to commit those acts are attracted to service because of the potential to commit such acts. This is the difference between a professional army and a citizen army. We need to reestablish the draft so that are fighting men and women come from all walks of life. This would reduce suicide rates and violent crime rates because citizen soldiers have a life expectation outside the military.

Jan 20, 2012 3:17am EST  --  Report as abuse
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