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US Pentagon officials endorse demonstration against military sexual assault

23:07  08 january  2018
23:07  08 january  2018 Source:   thehill.com

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The Department of Defense (DOD) on Monday endorsed a demonstration against military sexual assault held earlier in the day in front of the Pentagon . The group demanded accountability from Pentagon leaders on the handling of military sexual assault and harassment, according to Service

The Department of Defense (DOD) on Monday endorsed a demonstration against military sexual assault held earlier in the day in front of the Pentagon . Roughly 40 military veterans, service members and supporters attended the #MeTooMilitary demonstration Monday morning at the

a view of a city © Provided by The Hill The Department of Defense (DOD) on Monday endorsed a demonstration against military sexual assault held earlier in the day in front of the Pentagon.

Roughly 40 military veterans, service members and supporters attended the #MeTooMilitary demonstration Monday morning at the Pentagon Metro Station. The group demanded accountability from Pentagon leaders on the handling of military sexual assault and harassment, according to Service Women's Action Network (SWAN), one of three nonprofit groups that helped organize the gathering.

"No one should have to tolerate harassment as part of their military service," Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Rob Manning told reporters after the rally.

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  Former Taliban hostage Joshua Boyle charged with sexual assault A Canadian man who was kidnapped while backpacking with his wife in Afghanistan faces 15 charges including sexual assault. Joshua Boyle, his wife Caitlan Coleman and their three children—all born in captivity—were rescued in Oct. 2017 in Afghanistan.The alleged offenses occurred between Oct. 14 and Dec. 30, court documents show, The Toronto Star reported.Boyle faces charges of assault, sexual assault, unlawful confinement, uttering death threats, causing someone to “take a noxious thing, namely Trazodone,” and misleading police, according to the report.

Pentagon officials have promised to take even more aggressive action against sexual assault in the military , but some critics question whether the In March, Shanahan established the Sexual Assault Accountability and Investigation Task Force to review how the military handles sexual assault cases

Sexual assault in the United States military . Read in another language. Watch this page. Edit. Sexual assault in the United States armed forces is an ongoing issue which has received extensive media coverage in the past several years.

Asked if the department supports the objectives of the protesters, Manning replied, "yes."

Speakers at the event included retired Col. Don Christensen, president of Protect Our Defenders, Monica Medina, a former special assistant to former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, and Heath Phillips, a survivor of military sexual trauma.

Pentagon staff, including chief spokeswoman Dana White, walked outside toward the end of the gathering to express their support.

"The DOD continually works to eliminate sexual harassment and assault from the military," Pentagon spokesman Marine Corps Maj. Adrian Rankine-Galloway said in a statement to The Hill.

"We encourage service members to report all instances of sexual assault so we can provide support services and hold offenders accountable. Treating all military and civilian members with dignity and respect is a core principle of the DOD."

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Sexual assault is defined as rape, sexual assault , forcible sodomy, aggravated sexual contact, abusive sexual contact and attempts to commit those offenses. (MORE: Sexual assault and harassment cases up significantly at military service academies despite prevention efforts, Pentagon

Sexual assaults reported by military personnel rose by 11 percent last year but the overall trend on assaults and unwanted sexual contacts decreased, Pentagon officials said Friday. In addition, "men are less likely to report and more likely to experience" sexual assault , and men were also more likely

SWAN chief executive Lydia Watts said in statement that despite the many efforts made by the military to address sexual assault and harassment, only 4 percent of cases result in conviction.

"True progress will be measured when there is a wholesale culture change in which retaliation is not tolerated, survivors feel safe coming forward and there are swift and fair prosecutions," Watts said.

The demonstration comes a day after numerous celebrities, producers, writers and directors wore black to the 75th Golden Globe Awards Sunday evening in a show of solidarity against the culture of sexual misconduct in the entertainment industry.

Sexual misconduct in Hollywood took center stage last year when numerous actresses came forward to accuse movie producer Harvey Weinstein of harassment, assault and rape.

Since then, prominent men in other fields - including politics and journalism - have stepped down after allegations of inappropriate sexual behavior.

--This report was updated at 2:16 p.m.

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Canadian ex-Afghan captive remains jailed awaiting hearing .
A Canadian who was charged with sexual assault and making death threats after returning to Canada from captivity in Afghanistan will remain in custody after his bail hearing was postponed Monday. Joshua Boyle, 34, briefly appeared in court via video link from prison in Ottawa wearing an orange jumpsuit, having been formally charged on January 3.He is scheduled to reappear in court on January 26.Boyle faces 15 charges including sexual assault, assault and and illegal confinement.He was also charged with uttering death threats, misleading police, and causing a person to take a "noxious substance.

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