The US Department of Defense (DoD) has introduced a new initiative to help prevent sexual assault of military personnel and support victims.

The 'DoD Plan to Prevent and Respond to Sexual Assault of Military Men' has been designed to enhance support for victims and increase efforts to help them recover.

Plans indicate the need to help all service members better understand the aspects of assaults against men and how to prevent them, the DoD said in a statement.

DoD Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office (SAPRO) director army major general Camille Nichols said: “Unfortunately, most men would rather be silent than report a sexual assault.

"Unfortunately, most men would rather be silent than report a sexual assault."

“We are working to encourage men by emphasising that warriors show strength by seeking help.”

As part of the initiative, more men will be encouraged to report their sexual assault.

In addition to expanding all service members’ understanding of how men experience the crime, the plan will focus on refining support services and health care to address men’s specific needs.

The DoD will listen very closely to troops, as its ability to prevent this crime and remain mission-ready relies on male service members being trusting enough to disclose their experiences.

SAPRO officials have also committed to creating metrics to track the plan’s progress.

Expert working groups have been called upon to develop implementation actions for the plan.

The plan will be implemented from the second quarter of fiscal 2017 and continue throughout the next several years.