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19 November 2017, 12:55 | Tara Lloyd
According to the DOD's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office: this option is recommended for victims of sexual assault who desire an official investigation and command notification in addition to healthcare, victim advocacy and legal services.
The report estimates that in 2016, roughly 32% of all sexual assaults that occurred in the military were reported, up from 25% a year earlier, and just 15% in 2014.
Army members reported 8,294 instances of sexual assault, followed by the Navy, which reported 4,788 cases, the Air Force with 3,876, and the Marine Corps with 3,400. The numbers reflect just a fraction of all instances of sexual assault in the military, because they include only those cases that were reported.
Victims of sexual assault in the DoD may report an incident at any time and place of their choosing, so the location of where a report was made may not necessarily mean the incident occurred there.
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.
The new numbers from the fiscal year 2016 show the number of sex assault reports has almost tripled at Fort Carson since 2013. Reports worldwide from all four military branches increased from 4,432 in 2013 to 5,358 previous year.
Congress requires the DOD to report the number of sexual assault allegations it receives each year involving service members.
Reports of sexual assaults in combat zones have decreased dramatically since 2013, although they increased slightly past year, the data show.
Regarding the Army, Fort Hood, Texas, had the most reports across over the period, at 863.
In 2014, Lejeune's number dropped slightly to 150 before ballooning to 164 in 2015 and then 169 in 2016.
In fiscal 2016, there were 24 reports of sexual assault at the U.S.
For fiscal year 2016, 270 such cases occurred at Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia, while a total of 211 occurred at a combined group of US facilities in South Korea, the data show. Department of Defense data shows that 10 years ago, only one in 14 service members reported the crime.
In 2016, data showed a decrease from 6.1 percent of active duty women in 2012 to 4.3 percent in 2016, and from 1.2 percent of active duty men in 2012 to 0.6 percent in 2016.
The flexibility in reporting allegations was made to encourage victims to come forward and "to increase reporting of sexual assault and decrease the occurrence of the crime through prevention", Galbreath 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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