Military members increased reporting of sexual assault cases in 2016

19 November, 2017, 00:53 | Author: Dustin Murphy
  • Members of the U.S. military listen as U.S. President Donald Trump announces his strategy for the war in Afghanistan during an address to the nation from Fort Myer Virginia U.S

"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 Defense Department's sexual assault prevention and response office, told the Hill in a statement.

Restricted Reports allow individuals making a report to confidentially seek support and medical services.

In fiscal year 2014, the post had 212 unrestricted sexual assault reports and 50 restricted reports for a total of 262.

The Department of Defense uses the term "sexual assault" to refer to adult sex crimes punishable under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, including rape, sexual assault, forcible sodomy, aggravated and abusive sexual contact and attempts to commit those offenses. Today, after that determination, a database breaking down the number of reported sexual assaults by base, domestically and internationally, was released.

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.

The report broke down sexual assault allegations by service and installations over four years, and found that the greatest number of reports were made in the Army - the largest of the US military services. That number jumps up to 59 in 2015 and 44 in 2016.

Reports of sexual assaults in combat zones have decreased dramatically since 2013, although they increased slightly past year, the data show. Once this occurs, "The allegation is then referred for investigation and commander (s) of the reporting Service member and alleged perpetrator are notified".

The Navy reported 4,788 incidents, with the Air Force following with 3,876 and the Marine Corps last with 3,400.

Stamping out sexual assault in the military has been among the chief priorities for top Pentagon officials for years.

The new report also indicates that JBER's total number of sexual assault reports increased since 2015; however, reported numbers are not as high as the 2014 fiscal year. The department reported that prevalence rates among active duty women went from 6.1 percent in 2012 to 4.3 percent a year ago. "A report could involve allegations for an incident that occurred while on deployment, while away on leave, or even prior to entering the military", he said.

The three-quarters jump in Maryland - from 78 reports across nine military facilities to 137 allegations a year ago - outpaced the almost 21 percent increase across the entire military.



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