Last week, I noted that a recent US Army report on suicide includes an interesting fact: Since 2004, the number of soldiers going AWOL, deserting, and "missing movement" -- that is failing to deploy when they're supposed to -- has gone up a shocking 234 percent.
The blog generated intense interest -- it's been shared on Facebook more than 350 times and drawn more than 500 comments -- so I thought I'd share two other facts drawn from the same 350 report, which really ought to be titled "America's Broken Army."
Rapes Up 236%
The number of sex offenses by active duty soldiers more than tripled -- from 302 in 2001 to more than 1,000 in 2009. "Rape alone is a major driver of these increases, escalating since 2004 at approximately 150 cases per year" the report reads.
Spousal, Child Abuse and Neglect Up 177%
The number of soldiers who committed spousal or child abuse or neglect shot up from 913 in 2004 to 1,625 in 2009, the army said. In the report, the army concedes that number is likely lower than the actual number of abuses cases because many law enforcement personnel may enter the code for assault rather than spouse abuse when filling out their reports.