Pentagon releases sexual assault data at military installations

Sexual assault reports at Maryland military bases increase

Newly released Department of Defense data show Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia has received the most reports of sexual assaults among US military installations worldwide for the last three years.

Naval Station Norfolk recorded 270 reports of sexual assault in 2016, constituting more than 20 percent of those recorded by the Navy.

Victims of sexual assault in the DoD may report an incident at any time and place of their choosing, so the location of where a report was made may not necessarily mean the incident occurred there.

"This kind of flexibility allows the department to better meet the department's goals to increase reporting of sexual assault and decrease the occurrence of the crime through prevention", he said. The release today lists the number of reports alleging sexual assault that are being handled by Sexual Assault Response Coordinators at military installations worldwide.

"One of the features of the department's reporting program is that service members can report allegations of sexual assault at any time and at any place", Nate Galbreath, deputy director of the Pentagon's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office, said in a statement.

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"Sexual assault is fratricide in our formations, plain and simple".

The US military said it believes that a biannual anonymous survey provides a more accurate estimate of the number of sexual assaults. Those allegations had previously been reported only in aggregate totals.

The numbers appeared in a first-ever base-by-base analysis of non-domestic-abuse sexual assault allegations.

In the report released Friday, SAPRO estimated that in fiscal 2016 about 32 percent of service members who experience sexual assault now report it, up from 25 percent in fiscal years 2014 and 2015.

Servicemembers reported 6,172 cases of sexual assault in 2016, compared to 6,083 the year before, according to data the Pentagon released in May. The rates fell for active duty men, too: from 1.2 percent in 2012 to 0.6 percent in 2016.

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Among Maryland installations, Fort Meade saw the biggest increase.

This also goes for three of Alaska's military installations: Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Fort Wainwright and Eielson Air Force Base.

In 2013 there were 165 unrestricted reports and 42 restricted. The Pentagon received 125 reports of sexual assaults in combat theaters in 2016, up from 118 in 2015.

Regarding the Army, Fort Hood, Texas, had the most reports across over the period, at 863. Department of Defense data shows that 10 years ago, only one in 14 service members reported the crime. For example, the rate for active duty women dropped from 6.1 percent in 2012 to 4.3 percent in 2016.

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