Rise in Sex Abuses in UK Armed Forces

by Savitha C Muppala on Sep 1 2012 7:20 PM

 Rise in Sex Abuses in UK Armed Forces
One rape or sexual assault is reported by members of the British armed forces every week, but real figures could be much higher.
The Member of Parliament, who released these figures, believes that they could be a huge underestimate, with the true figures closer to an attack a day.

Over the past two-and-a-half-years, there have been 53 rapes and 86 sexual assaults reported in the Army, the Navy and the Air Force.

According to the Daily Mail, Labour MP Madeleine Moon, who received the figures in a parliamentary question, said she was concerned that there was a 'culture of silence', with hundreds of victims never reporting attacks.

Only nine rape cases and 45 sexual assault complaints have ended in conviction, the report said.

The figures only include reports made to the Armed Forces' service police departments, meaning the cases are perpetrated by servicemen and women on their compatriots, the report added.

According to the report, the Ministry of Defence could not say how many victims were male and how many were female.

Moon said she looked into the issue after reading that the US Department of Defense estimates that only 13.5 percent of assault victims in the Armed Forces report the attack.

"Worryingly, the Ministry of Defence is saying they have no record of any prosecutions taking place in civilian courts," Moon said.

"I want to ensure the military process is robust enough and that we don't have a culture of silence preventing cases being dealt with effectively. If there is a culture of silence, we need robust structures in place to stamp it out," Moon added.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence said any allegations of rape and sexual assault are investigated by either the civil or service police, the report added.