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Sexual Assault Reports Drop at Service Academies

Sexual Assault Reports Drop at Service Academies
Source: U.S. Department of Defense

Reports of sexual assault decreased in two of the three military academies in academic year 2012-13, officials of the Defense Department’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office said today.

The statistics came from DOD’s Annual Report on Sexual Harassment and Violence at the Military Service Academies, which is being delivered to Congress today.

During the academic year, a total of 70 reports were made at the U.S. Military Academy, the U.S. Naval Academy or the U.S. Air Force Academy, officials said. The number of sexual assaults reported declined at West Point and Colorado Springs, but rose at Annapolis.

A report of sexual assault means at least one military victim or subject, said Air Force Col. Alan Metzler, an official with the Pentagon’s Sexual Assault Response and Prevention Office.

Of the 70 reports, 53 came from cadets and midshipmen for events they experienced in military service. “We are getting reports from victims for events prior to their military service or prior to entering the service academies,” Metzler said.

The report provides an assessment of the effectiveness of the service academies’ policies and training to prevent sexual violence. The assessment found the academies were compliant with their policies regarding sexual harassment and sexual assault during the academic year, which ran from June 2012 to May 2013.

“What we found was the academies instituted a lot of new initiatives to enhance training, improve awareness of sexual harassment and assault and to promote a safe environment for all cadets and midshipmen,” Metzler said.

The report includes information from focus groups of midshipmen and cadets. “They told us – and we’re pleased by this – that reports of sexual assault or sexual harassment would be taken seriously by academy leaders, and they would be dealt with appropriately,” the colonel said. “That’s the good news.”

Still, cadets and midshipmen also identified some peer pressure barriers to reporting these crimes, he said.

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Connecticut State Police: Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting Reports

Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting Reports
Source: Connecticut State Police

The reports below document the many stages of the investigation of the December 14, 2012 shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Administratively, the investigation consists of three separate case numbers. CFS 1200704559 is the primary investigation, CFS 1200704597 is the processing of the scene at Sandy Hook Elementary School, and CFS 1200705354 is the investigation of the homicide at 36 Yogananda St. in Newtown.

As laid out in the Table of Contents, each investigation includes numerous written reports, with each case number available for separate download. Additionally, each investigation also includes various forms of multimedia including photographs, video recordings and/or audio recordings. These attachments to the reports are available for download under the case number of the investigation to which it pertains, and further divided by the document number of the corresponding report or other description.

Please note that many of the linked files are very large. These files will take a considerable amount of time to download, and may impose a heavy burden on the hosting system. We encourage you, especially with respect to the larger video files, to download and view the smaller files first to confirm your interest in obtaining the larger files.

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Deployments, Combat Exposure, and Crime

Deployments, Combat Exposure, and Crime
Source: Institute for the Study of Labor (via SSRN)

During the period 2001-2009, four combat brigades and the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment were based at Fort Carson, Colorado. These units were repeatedly deployed during the Iraq War, allowing us to measure the effect of arguably exogenous changes in troop levels on violent crime in El Paso County, where Fort Carson is located. Our results suggest that never-deployed units contributed to community violence in the form of assaults, murders, and robberies. In contrast, estimates of the relationship between the number of previously deployed units and violent crime are generally small and statistically insignificant. We conclude that soldiers returning from combat do not represent a special threat to public safety.

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State’s Attorney Releases Report on Sandy Hook Investigation

Danbury State’s Attorney Releases Report on Sandy Hook Investigation
Source: State of Connecticut Division of Criminal Justice

Stephen J. Sedensky III, State’s Attorney for the Judicial District of Danbury, today released his report on the investigation into the December 14, 2012, shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School and a private residence in Newtown.

The report concludes that the 20-year-old Adam Lanza acted alone when he fatally shot his mother at their home in Newtown and then went to the elementary school where he fatally shot 20 first-grade pupils and six adults and wounded two other adults.

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United Nations Mission to Investigate Allegations of the Use of Chemical Weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic: Report on the Alleged Use of Chemical Weapons in the Ghouta Area of Damascus on 21 August 2013

United Nations Mission to Investigate Allegations of the Use of Chemical Weapons in the Syrian Arab Republic: Report on the Alleged Use of Chemical Weapons in the Ghouta Area of Damascus on 21 August 2013 (PDF)
Source: United Nations

In transmitting simultaneously to the Security Council and the General Assembly the report on the incident which took place on 21 August 2013 in the Ghouta area of Damascus (see annex), the Secretary-General expresses his profound shock and regret at the conclusion that chemical weapons were used on a relatively large scale, resulting in numerous casualties, particularly among civilians and including many children. The Secretary-General condemns in the strongest possible terms the use of chemical weapons and believes that this act is a war crime and grave violation of the 1925 Protocol for the Prohibition of the Use in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous or Other Gases, and of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare and other relevant rules of customary international law. The international community has a moral responsibility to hold accountable those responsible and for ensuring that chemical weapons can never re-emerge as an instrument of warfare.

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Physical and Psychological Health Following Military Sexual Assault: Recommendations for Care, Research, and Policy

Physical and Psychological Health Following Military Sexual Assault: Recommendations for Care, Research, and Policy
Source: RAND Corporation

Awareness of military sexual assault — sexual assault of a servicemember — has been increasing within the Department of Defense (DoD). The DoD is striving to improve this situation, but unique conditions of life in the military may make response to these events more difficult than within the civilian sector. This paper reviews the prevalence of sexual assault among servicemembers, victim responses in the immediate aftermath of a sexual assault, barriers to disclosure, victim needs, and DoD efforts to provide necessary resources to victims. The authors review civilian guidelines for the care of physical injuries, response to STI/HIV and pregnancy risk, forensic services, advocacy and support services, and formal mental health care. They then review DoD directives, forms, and guidelines for sexual assault victim care, revealing that these generally are consistent with civilian guidelines. However, little is known about the fidelity with which these DoD recommendations are implemented. The authors close with recommendations for future research to support the DoD’s commitment to a culture free of sexual assault, including a comprehensive, longitudinal epidemiological study of military sexual assault, a needs assessment of disclosed and undisclosed military victims, an evaluation of the training enterprise, and an evaluation to document the extent to which DoD directives requiring immediate, evidence-based care for military victims are being implemented with fidelity.

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