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Rights Groups to Learn About Military Assaults

(CN) - The Department of Defense and Department of Veteran Affairs must disclose more information about sexual assault on women in the military.

Claiming that sexual assault of women in the military is rampant and unaddressed, the Service Women's Action Network, American Civil Liberties Union and American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut requested information and documentation about the issue under the Freedom of Information Act on Oct. 15, 2010.

Six Defense Department offices and five Veteran Affairs offices released a limited number of documents, explaining that they could not or would not respond to all requests. The groups in turn claimed that the government has not been forthcoming with their information and documentation.

U.S District Judge Mark Kravitz in New Haven declined to grant the agencies summary judgment.

He did side with the agencies as to certain requests they denied because the search parameters were not specific. It would also have been unreasonably burdensome for the agency to disclose "all records related to the non-judicial or administrative resolution of sexual assault-related complaints that did not result in court martial" from 2006 to 2010, the court found.

Kravitz did find that the government agencies did not thoroughly prove that it had searched for information pertaining to these sexual assault cases. The agencies must submit additional affidavits detailing their search methodology.

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