Thursday, 14 December, 2017

Hundreds of sex assaults reported at San Diego military bases past year

A new report from the Pentagon shows that sexual assault reporting has increased A new report from the Pentagon shows that sexual assault reporting has increased
Erik Tate | 20 November, 2017, 02:12

The number of reported sexual assaults on Kentucky's Fort Campbell almost doubled between 2013 and 2016, according to a new Department of Defense report.

The new numbers from the fiscal year 2016 show the number of sex assault reports has almost tripled at Fort Carson since 2013. "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 2013, the Pentagon began allowing victims of sexual assault to seek legal help without notifying their command and police, which would be classified as restricted reports. 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.

In 2014, Lejeune's number dropped slightly to 150 before ballooning to 164 in 2015 and then 169 in 2016.

The Pentagon classifies reports of sexual assault as either unrestricted or restricted.

- Civilian victims alleging a sexual assault by an active duty military member.

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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. Meanwhile, an unrestricted report is referred for criminal investigation and to commanders.

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

The report, by the Defence Department's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office, details allegations by service branch for the fiscal years 2013-2016, with the Army - the largest branch of the military - reporting 8,294 cases in all.

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. The incident could have occurred "while on deployment, while away on leave, or even prior to entering the military", the Pentagon said.

Regarding joint military installations, Joint Base San Antonio in Texas - comprising Army, Navy and Air Force operations - numbered 881 sexual assault reports, the highest in the period.

Other bases that recorded higher numbers included Fort Hood, a U.S. Army Base in Killeen, Texas, that fielded 199 reports of sexual assault previous year, and Camp Lejeune, a Marine base in Jacksonville, N.C., that received 169 reports.

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