DoD releases sexual assault reports from local military installations

Frederick Owens
November 19, 2017

Not all sexual assaults reported at a particular installation happened there, because service members can report an assault at the time and place of their choosing, the DOD said.

That is an improvement over two years ago, the report said, when 15 percent or fewer of sexual assault victims in the military reported it.

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

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.

An unrestricted report is one of a sex-related allegation made by an individual against one or more individuals that is referred for investigation to a Military Criminal Investigative Organization (MCIO) or civilian law enforcement with jurisdiction.

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

The data also show Army installations took the most reports in each of the last four years.

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In fiscal year 2015, the post had 164 unrestricted reports and 31 restricted reports for a total of 195. The Pentagon said it estimates that, in 2016, less than a third of service members who experienced a sexual assault reported it.

The Army had the highest number of cases at 8,284 in the four years, according to the report.

Reports of sexual assaults in combat zones have decreased dramatically since 2013, although they increased slightly a year ago, the data show.

The Pentagon did not elaborate on the data but noted that the reports showed where a victim reported a sexual assault, not necessarily where the sexual assault occurred.

The Navy was next, with 4,788 reports, while the Air Force had 3,876, and the Marine Corps 3,400. The Pentagon received 125 reports of sexual assaults in combat theaters in 2016, up from 118 in 2015. There were 24 reports at the Naval Academy in 2016 and 20 at Andrews. "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".

In September, the Senate approved the FY18 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which included numerous provisions to protect and help victims of sexual assault. 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", Galbreath added.

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