Military members increased reporting of sexual assault cases in 2016

Jerome Frank
November 20, 2017

Friday the Department of Defense released information about the number of sexual assault reports made at installations around the world.

In the 2016 fiscal year, Norfolk had 270 sexual assault reports, Ford Hood had 199, the Naval Base in San Diego had 187, Camp Lejeune in North Carolina had 169, Camp Pendleton in California had 157, and Fort Bragg in North Carolina had 146 reports, cited by Stars and Stripes.

The figures released on Friday come after a separate report earlier this year which highlighted how there had been a steady increase of sexual assault reports over the past several years.

Since 2012, SAPRO's annual reports on sexual assault in the military have shown regular declines in the rates, although the statistics have been disputed by advocacy groups and several members of Congress.

Shocking new data released from the Department of Defense, shows military sexual assaults are at an all-time high. During this time period, the Army transitioned from the Sexual Assault Prevention Response Program to the Sexual Harassment and Assault Response and Prevention Program, which changed reporting options to include restricted and unrestricted reports, placed embedded trained Victim Advocates and Sexual Assault Response Coordinators within unit footprints, increased accessibility of services to victims, implemented training and education regarding Sexual Assault and Harassment definitions and reporting processes.

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That represents about 21% of the sexual assaults investigated at all Navy bases. Reports worldwide from all four military branches increased from 4,432 in 2013 to 5,358 past year.

"If those numbers are rising that could be a positive thing in that victims are reporting more, not that the crime is happening more but that the reporting rate is up", said Gerdes.

In the Air Force, the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., saw the most reports, with 168. "As a result, the number of reports listed for an installation doesn't necessarily mean that the alleged incident occurred there". To report restricted allows the victim to seek medical services and advocacy with confidentiality.

The Navy was next, with 4,788 reports, while the Air Force had 3,876, and the Marine Corps 3,400. Meanwhile, an unrestricted report is referred for criminal investigation and to commanders. The incident could have occurred "while on deployment, while away on leave, or even prior to entering the military", the Pentagon told ABC News.

In 2014, Seymour Johnson had 16 total before it dropped to 13 in 2015 and 2016.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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