Lawmakers Move to Reduce Military Sex Assaults

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Lawmakers in Washington are trying to take steps to cut the number of sexual assaults in the military.
Members of a House panel have passed legislation that would strip commanding officers of their power to change or dismiss court-martial convictions in rape and assault cases.

They say they're hoping to shift military culture to one that encourages victims to step forward.
The move comes on the heels of yet another harassment scandal for the military, this time from West Point. An Army sergeant first class is accused of spying on female cadets in the bathroom.

"They are serious charges, but I mean they scratch the surface of what's happening at West Point, what's happening at all the other academies," Anu Bhagwati, co-founder and executive director of the Service Women's Action Network, said.

According to a Pentagon report, as many as 26,000 service members were sexually assaulted or harassed last year.

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