Pentagon releases sexual assault data by base, adds caution

Nov 19, 2017, 00:56
Pentagon releases sexual assault data by base, adds caution

"A report could involve allegations for an incident that occurred while on deployment, while away on leave, or even prior to entering the military", Dr. Nate Galbreath, deputy director of the DOD's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office, said in a statement.

A restricted report is one made confidentially by a victim who may be seeking "advocacy, support services, medical care, and mental health counseling" and is not referred to criminal investigation, SAPRO said.

Previously, during the 2014 fiscal year, SAPRO estimated that only 14 percent of military victims were reporting.

The US military said it believes that a biannual anonymous survey provides a more accurate estimate of the number of sexual assaults.

As to combat areas, Afghanistan received 295 sexual assault reports from fiscal 2013 to 2016, higher than any other country that has United States military presence.

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.

In 2005, the DoD enacted a policy to encourage more service members to report sexual assault, despite when or where the incident originally occurred.

Officials at Fort Carson directly attribute the change in reporting systems from fiscal year 2013 to 2014 to the increase in reports at the installation.

In 2013 there were 165 unrestricted reports and 42 restricted.

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. Then there was a slight decline past year to 114.

For fiscal year 2016, 270 such cases occurred at Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia, while a total of 211 occurred at a combined group of US facilities in South Korea, the data show. The Pentagon received 125 reports of sexual assaults in combat theaters in 2016, up from 118 in 2015. In the Marine Corps, there were 837 reports in 2015 to 825 in 2016. At the 29 Palms Marine base in San Bernardino County, 38 sexual assault cases were reported in 2016.

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

Sexual assaults can be made by active duty service members, adult dependents of service members and civilians who allege they have been assaulted by service members. The department reported that prevalence rates among active duty women went from 6.1 percent in 2012 to 4.3 percent past year.