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Military Hunting 'Serial Predators'

Pentagon takes new approach to decrease sexual assault
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 25, 2014 3:24 PM CST
Military Hunting 'Serial Predators'
File photo.   (AP Photo/Dusan Vranic)

(Newser) – In an effort to decrease sexual assaults in the military, the Pentagon is determined to hunt down "serial predators" with multiple victims, the Christian Science Monitor reports. Research has shown that in some "semi-closed" settings like colleges, serial offenders are responsible for as many as 90% of sexual assaults, and officials are growing more convinced that's the case in the military. "If you get rid of just one of these predators, it’s pretty significant," explains a retired Air Force major general. In addition to decreasing sexual violence, the new system could also cut down on "victim-blaming," says one official.

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What does the new approach mean? Rather than education campaigns urging people to use the buddy system, dress conservatively, and avoid getting drunk, the military will investigate suspects more aggressively and try to locate other victims—an idea that makes some uncomfortable, considering how important cohesiveness is to a military unit. Military law enforcement previously spent more time investigating the alleged victim's behavior, but will now be trained to look more closely at the history of the alleged perpetrator. "It's easier to prove five assaults than one," says one commander who's advocating for the new system. Click for the full story. (Read more US military stories.)

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