Pentagon issues data on sexual assault reports at its bases

For the first time, the U.S. Defense Department has disclosed data on sexual assault cases reported at each of its bases worldwide.

The report, released Friday, covers the years 2013 to 2016. It shows where incidents were reported -- not necessarily where they took place, Reuters reported.

“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,” Nate Galbreath, deputy director of the Pentagon’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office, said in a statement. “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.”

"Service members can report allegations of sexual assault at any time and at any place."

- Nate Galbreath, deputy director, Pentagon’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office

The Pentagon defines sexual assault as anything from groping to rape. It adds that an estimated one-third of sexual assault cases involving service members go unreported, Reuters reported.

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 U.S. facilities in South Korea, the data show.

In 2015, Norfolk had 291 cases.  

Other major bases that processed a high volume of sexual assault reports included Fort Hood in Texas with 199, Naval Base in San Diego, Calif., with 187 and Camp Lejeune in North Carolina with 169, according to Reuters.

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