Published: Mon, November 20, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Pentagon releases data on sex assault reports made at military installations

Pentagon releases data on sex assault reports made at military installations

The U.S. military has released numbers of sexual assault victim support services being offered at its installations worldwide, as part of its mission to close the gap between sexual assault prevalence and reporting. Previously, during the 2014 fiscal year, SAPRO estimated that only 14 percent of military victims were reporting.

The release comes at a time when the Pentagon is attempting to address long-festering problems of sexual assault as well as the recent cascade of public allegations of assault by celebrities and politicians. In the Marine Corps, there were 837 reports in 2015 to 825 in 2016.

Fort Bragg saw the biggest increase, from 89 in 2012-13 to 146 in 2015-16, the report shows. Since then, the percentage of DoD victims choosing to report has increased over the years. "But no definitive statement can be made about an increase in reporting at any given installation". On Thursday, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York), held a press conference in Washington, D.C., to announce the re-introduction of the Military Justice Improvement Act. A restricted report is not referred for criminal investigation or to commanders. Then there was a slight decline a year ago to 114.

The Air Force and Navy were the only two that recorded an increase in reports.

Reports at Marine installations declined almost 7 percent.

"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", said Dr. Nate Galbreath, deputy director of DoD Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office.

The number of reports doesn't necessarily mean the alleged sexual assault occurred at that installation, but that the installation is where the service member is getting help with their report.

But officials cautioned that many incidents occur off base on deployment, on leave or in civilian life prior to joining up.

There are 633, 484 staff including active duty members, full-time employees and reserve personnel, in the Air Force.

The numbers reflect just a fraction of all instances of sexual assault in the military, because they include only those cases that were reported.

The statistics do not include allegations involving spouses or intimate partners or dependent children.

For each of the military branches, as well as the joint bases and combat zones, the total number of reports in 2016 were largely identical to those in 2015. For men, the rate dropped from 1.2 percent in 2012 to 0.6 percent in 2016.

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