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2018: Sexual Violence on Okinawa

The Asia-Pacific Journal | Japan Focus Volume 16 | Issue 3 | Number 4 | Jan 31, 2018
Mit freundlicher Erlaubnis von Japan Focus

U.S. Marine Corps Sexual Violence on Okinawa

Jon Mitchell

As revelations of sexual assaults and harassment roil the worlds of politics, sports and entertainment, one institution has largely escaped media and public scrutiny: the U.S. military.

According to the Department of Defense’s most recent report, in 2016 approximately 40 service members were sexually assaulted every day. The Annual Report on Sexual Assault in the Military estimates 14,900 service members - 8,600 women and 6,300 men - experienced sexual assaults in 2016.

Approximately 68% of those attacked did not report the offense.

Military victims of sexual assault face numerous institutional obstacles to receiving justice. The ultimate decision whether to prosecute suspects remains with the base commander. Perpetrators strike agreements which allow them to admit to lesser charges - often non-sexual - or to receive lighter punishments. In 2016, the U.S. military held only 389 courts-martial for those accused of sexual offenses. As a result, 261 service members were convicted - but only 124 of these were actually punished for sexual offenses; the remainder were convicted of lesser offenses such as non-sexual assault or disobeying orders.

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