Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Military sexual assaults reporting slammed by GAO

GAO slams VA sex assault reporting, prevention
By Rick Maze - Staff writer
Posted : Tuesday Jun 7, 2011 16:51:24 EDT
A new report from a congressional watchdog agency questions efforts by the Veterans Affairs Department to reduce sexual assaults in its hospitals and clinics, finding flaws in security and failures to report crimes to higher headquarters.

The report released Tuesday by the Government Accountability Office says 284 sexual assaults were reported to VA law enforcement officials between January 2007 and July 2010, but many of those cases were never reported to regional offices or to VA’s central office. A spot review of a few regions showed two-thirds of rapes were not reported to higher headquarters.

The report says the cases “included incidents alleging rape, inappropriate touching, forceful medical examinations, oral sex, and other types of sexual assaults,” but that records reviewed by GAO investigations made it impossible to determine how many accusations were substantiated.

Additionally, the report says there is reason to believe that many assaults went unreported.

“Factors that may contribute to the underreporting of sexual assault incidents include the lack of both a clear definition of sexual assault and expectations on what incidents should be reported, as well as deficient [Veterans Health Administration] Central Office oversight of sexual assault incidents,” the report says.

The findings unnerved lawmakers. Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee chairman, said he was “aghast” when he first read it. “It reminded me of a 1950s prison system — lawlessness, lack of security and reporting, and outright disregard for human dignity,” Miller said, pledging to force VA to make improvements.

read more here
GAO slams VA sex assault reporting, prevention

No comments:

Post a Comment

If it is not helpful, do not be hurtful. Spam removed so do not try putting up free ad.