Fort Bragg sees number of reported sexual assaults grow

Nov 20, 2017, 02:12
Fort Bragg sees number of reported sexual assaults grow

The Pentagon published the number of sexual assault reports made at US military installations around the world for fiscal years 2013 through 2016 on Friday.

The Army post with the most reports of sexual assaults in fiscal 2016 was Fort Hood, Texas, with 199; the most in the Navy in fiscal 2016 was Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia, with 270; and the most in the Marine Corps that year was 169 at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

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.

"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", he said.

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Protect Our Defenders, an independent organization set up to tackle injustices across the Armed Forces, cites other materials which say as many as 14,000 sexual assaults took place in 2016 but that only 20 percent were reported.

Notice the total number of sexual assaults is 43 in 2013. In 2016, there were 155 unrestricted reports and 44 restricted.

"If those numbers are rising that could be a positive thing in that victims are reporting more, not that the crime is happening more but that the reporting rate is up", said Gerdes. "As a result, the number of reports listed for an installation doesn't necessarily mean that the alleged incident occurred there".

Other bases that recorded higher numbers included Fort Hood, a U.S. Army Base in Killeen, Texas, that fielded 199 reports of sexual assault a year ago, and Camp Lejeune, a Marine base in Jacksonville, N.C., that received 169 reports. For example, the rate for active duty women dropped from 6.1 percent in 2012 to 4.3 percent in 2016.

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The DOD on Friday released the numbers for installations, and combat areas of interest, around the world in the last four fiscal years.

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

A restricted report is not referred for criminal investigation or to commanders and allows the service member who made it to seek confidential support, medical care and counseling.

While the number of reported cases in 2016 are up, this is due to the fact that the Pentagon estimates that 32 percent of service members who suffered from sexual assault in fiscal year 2016 reported the incident to the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office or to military law enforcement.

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