Female Senators Express Outrage at Sex Assaults in Military

Top military officers lined up before Congress for a hearing on the military sexual assaults.
2:18 | 06/05/13

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Transcript for Female Senators Express Outrage at Sex Assaults in Military
In washington for the latest on the sexual assault crisis in the military. Thousands of cases every year and the nation's top military leaders have lined up before congress to answer a lot of questions. Abc's martha raddatz joins us from washington with the latest on all this. Good morning, martha. Reporter: Good morning, robin. The military chiefs all took responsibility for failures and promised this crisis would have their full attention, but the senators wanted more. There was palpable frustration and impatience. How many women and men are being raped and sexually assaulted? Are you frickin kidding me. Why is 1 in 100 cases resulting in convictions? Reporter: A question that vexes the most senior officer, all of them men. We're failing in our efforts to fully protect our people from sexual assault and sexual harassment. Sexual assault is criminal behavior that has no place in the united states marine corps. Reporter: But the military leaders are all resisting efforts to have victims of abuse report to special military legal authorities, instead of commanding officers. I believe it is essential our commanders be involved in each phase of the military justice process. Reporter: The problem of sexual assault has only gotten worse. An estimated 26,000 sexual assaults last year, up 35%, and in just the past few weeks the head of a sexual assault response office charged with sexual battery. A soldier accused of secretly videotaping female cadets in the showers. Three naval academy football players accused of rape. You have lost the trust of the men and women who rely on you. They're afraid to report. Reporter: And for veteran and sexual assault survivor anna bag much waati those words rang true. They have to put up with degrading behavior, not random acts but routine rites of passage still condoned by senior enlisted officers and leaders. Reporter: Military and civilian leaders have been promising to fix the problem for decades. Asked by one senator why he should believe this time will be different the chairman of the joint chiefs said in prior years leaders focused on victim protection rather than prevention.

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