Politics & Government

More than 16 sexual assaults are reported each day at military bases

From left, Judge Advocate General of the Army Lt. Gen. Dana Chipman; Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno; Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey; and Legal Counsel to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Brig. Gen. Richard Gross, arrive on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 4, 2013, to testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on pending legislation regarding sexual assaults in the military.
From left, Judge Advocate General of the Army Lt. Gen. Dana Chipman; Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno; Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey; and Legal Counsel to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Brig. Gen. Richard Gross, arrive on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 4, 2013, to testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on pending legislation regarding sexual assaults in the military. AP

More than 6,150 non-domestic adult sexual assaults were reported to the U.S. military from October 1, 2015 to September 30, 2016, according to a new report by the Department of Defense.

Nearly 400 of them were reported at North Carolina’s major military installations.

There were six North Carolina bases included in the report — Camp Lejeune (169 reported cases), Fort Bragg (146), Marine Corps Air Station New River (32), Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point (27), Seymour Johnson Air Force Base (13) and Pope Army Airfield (10).

For context, Fort Bragg, the largest military base in the United States, has a population of about 140,000 soldiers and civilians – outnumbering all but a handful of North Carolina cities.

The report includes rape, sexual assault, forcible sodomy, aggravated and abusive sexual contact and attempts to commit those crimes. It includes active duty service members, activated Reserve and National Guard members, civilian victims who allege a sexual assault by an active duty member and adult dependents of active duty members.

The numbers do not necessarily reflect where or even when an alleged assault occurred because victims may report a sexual assault at a time and place of their choosing, according to the report.

The Army had 2,205 reported assaults, the Navy had 1,285, the Air Force had 1,043 and the Marines had 825. There were 670 reported assaults at joint bases and another 125 in combat areas for a total of 6,153, which averages to 16.8 reported assaults per day.

The Pentagon estimates that just 32 percent of service members who experience a sexual assault go on to report the incident. That’s up from 15 percent or fewer prior to 2014.

Brian Murphy: 202.383.6089; Twitter: @MurphsTurph

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