The U.S. Department of Defense is struggling to change how it handles the abuse of military kids, including cases involving sexual assault by other children, according to a report commissioned by Congress.
For decades, justice has been elusive on American bases when the children of service members sexually assaulted each other. Help for victims and accountability for offenders was rare in the nearly 700 reports over a decade that an AP investigation documented.
Despite new rules addressing sexual assault among the children of U.S. service members, the federal government failed to fix a flaw that on many military bases has let alleged juvenile abusers escape accountability or treatment.
The Senate committee that oversees the U.S. military ordered an independent investigation of how the Defense Department handles sexual violence among children on bases as part of legislation that would overhaul how the Pentagon must respond when assaults are reported.