Pentagon releases sexual assault data

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Newly released Pentagon data show Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia has received the most reports of sexual assaults among USA military installations worldwide for the last three years.

In 2016, defense officials investigated 126 sexual assaults at Fort Campbell compared to 64 two years earlier.

Reports of sexual assault at Fort Bragg increased by 28 percent in 2016 over the year before, according to a summary released by the Department of Defense Friday. The number of reported sexual assaults increased to 107 in 2015. This means that the reports are referred for criminal investigation to either the Military Criminal Investigation Organization, or a civilian law enforcement agency.

The DOD has been encouraging service members to report sexual assaults since 2005.

Brown says Fort Carson commanders are determined to stop predatory behavior and ultimately want to eliminate sexual assault and harassment.

"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.

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The Air Force Academy in Colorado had 44 reports, the highest for the Air Force.

"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", said Dr. Nate Galbreath, the deputy director of SAPRO.

The DOD on Friday released the numbers for installations, and combat areas of interest, around the world in the last four fiscal years. The military actually believes that rather than tracking reported assaults, doing a biannual, anonymous survey gives a clearer picture of the scale of sexual assault: during its latest such survey detailing 2016 incidents, 14,900 service members said they experienced some kind of sexual assault.

The Marine Corp Air Station New River had 16 total reports in 2013, 32 in 2014, 27 in 2015 and 32 in 2016.

Other bases that recorded higher numbers included Fort Hood, a U.S. Army Base in Killeen, Texas, that fielded 199 reports of sexual assault past year, and Camp Lejeune, a Marine base in Jacksonville, N.C., that received 169 reports. Brown said some cases are decades old but any reporting victim has access to counseling and medical attention while the report is investigated. The incident could have occurred "while on deployment, while away on leave, or even prior to entering the military", the Pentagon said.