DOD Report Shows Sexual Assault Rates Keep Falling

Violet Powell
November 19, 2017

"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.

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 latest figures show that the prevalence rate of sexual assault has been on the decline.

While Fort Campbell's number increase dramatically between 2013 and 2016, the number of reported sexual assaults dropped at Fort Knox.

The US military has disclosed for the first time base-by-base data on sexual assault reports, showing a higher number of reports at big military installations like Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia as well as overseas hubs like South Korea.

Officials said the Army has worked to establish a professional victim response system to encourage increased reporting, provide top-notch medical and psychological care, and legal resources to ensure victims are protected. Reports worldwide from all four military branches increased from 4,432 in 2013 to 5,358 past year.

There were 253 sexual assaults reported at Fort Drum between 2013 and 2016. The numbers had previously been reported without breakdowns for individual installations, the DOD said. In fiscal year 2016, the Pentagon reported that more servicemembers were reporting incidents of sexual assault while the total number of those assaults was believed to have fallen slightly.

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It found that between 2013 and 2016, 8,896 complaints of sexual assault were made in the Air Force and nearly as many, 8,294, were made in the Army, the largest branch of the Armed Forces.

These sexual assault allegations may come from persons age 16 or older who allege a sexual assault by someone unrelated to them.

To report an incident as a restricted report means to report without referral for criminal investigation or to commanders.

Sexual assault in the workplace.

The Department of Defense defines sexual assaults as adult sex-related crimes punishable under its Uniform Code of Military Justice.

In 2016, the most recent data the department has on the prevalence rates of sexual assault showed a decrease from 6.1% of active-duty women in 2012 to 4.3% in 2016, and from 1.2% of active-duty men in 2012 to 0.6% in 2016, SAPRO said. The incident could have occurred "while on deployment, while away on leave, or even prior to entering the military", the Pentagon told ABC News.

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