Report: Pentagon must do more to prevent assaults

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U.S. Department of Defense (AP Photo)

U.S. Department of Defense (AP Photo)

WASHINGTON (AP) — A new report required by Congress calls on the Department of Defense to assess how well commanding officers handle sexual assault and harassment complaints as a condition of their job.

The Institute of Medicine said that military sexual assault appears to be an important factor in the development of post-traumatic stress disorder. It cited previous research indicating that female veterans with a reported history of military sexual trauma were nine times more likely to have PTSD compared to other female veterans.

The institute provides advice concerning health and science policy to the government.

It said the Pentagon needs to have a zero-tolerance approach to the problem of military sexual assaults. One way to do that is by adding criteria to performance reviews that show how commanders dealt with assault complaints.

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