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Military officers should be judged on their handling of assault cases, report says

A recent Institute of Medicine report assessed the health needs of returned Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans. Forty-four percent of returning troops reported experiencing health problems during their adjustment to life after deployment. The most common issues include post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), substance abuse, depression, and symptoms attributed to traumatic brain injuries. In particular, the report identified military sexual assault as an important risk factor in the development of PTSD, citing previous research indicating female veterans with a reported sexual trauma are nine times more likely to have PTSD than other female veterans. The report recommends the Department of Defense institute a zero-tolerance approach to sexual assault, and hold officers responsible for their handling of assault cases.

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