Pentagon under fire for sexual assaults

July 31, 2008 4:38:21 PM PDT
The Pentagon is under fire for the way it handles reports of sexual assault and rape in the military.

"Women serving in the U.S. military today are more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire in Iraq," Rep. Jane Harmon, D-California said.

Harmon testified before a House panel looking into how the military handles reports of sexual assaults.

In 2007, only 8 percent of those accused of rape were court martialed, Harmon said. By comparison, 40 percent of those arrested in the civilian world are prosecuted.

During a recent trip to a Veterans Affairs health centerdoctors told Harmon 29 percent of the female veterans said they had been victims of rape.

Harmon Thursday introduced legislation calling on the Pentagon to develop a strategy to prevent rape and sexual assault.