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Dr. Elizabeth Van Winkle and U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Snow. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Sexual assaults jumped across all four military services to 20,500 last year — a rise of almost 38% from 2018 — survey results the Pentagon released Thursday show.

Details: The figures of the anonymous survey found more than 85% of victims knew their assailant and alcohol was a factor in 62% of the assaults. The statistics are close to the same number of sexual assaults reported in 2014, when 20,300 were recorded. Pentagon officials told ABC News the results would lead to changes in its sexual assault prevention efforts.

By the numbers: In fiscal 2017, the department received 6,769 reports of sexual assault involving service members as either victims or subjects of criminal investigation — a 9.7 percent rise over the 6,172 reports made in fiscal 2016. There was also an increase in reported sexual assaults that year.

The big picture: The military has taken steps to try and prevent sexual assault in the military. In March, Sen. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) told a subcommittee of the Senate Armed Services Committee addressing the issue she was raped by a superior officer while she served in the U.S. Air Force.

  • Dr. Elizabeth Van Winkle, executive director of the Office of Force Resiliency for the Defense Department told ABC News there were indications of progress in some areas, but "this is not the direction that we want to go ... So we have to adjust course."

Go deeper:

Go deeper

6 hours ago - World

Top general: U.S. losing time to deter China

Stanley McChrystal. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Stanley McChrystal, a top retired general and Biden adviser, tells Axios that "China's military capacity has risen much faster than people appreciate," and the U.S. is running out of time to counterbalance that in Asia and prevent a scenario such as it seizing Taiwan.

Why it matters: McChrystal, the former commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, recently briefed the president-elect as part of his cabinet of diplomatic and national security advisers. President-elect Joe Biden is considering which Trump- or Obama-era approaches to keep or discard, and what new strategies to pursue.

Progressives shift focus from Biden's Cabinet to his policy agenda

Joe Biden giving remarks in Wilmington, Del., last month. Photo: Roberto Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images

Some progressives tell Axios they believe the window for influencing President-elect Joe Biden’s Cabinet selections has closed, and they’re shifting focus to policy — hoping to shape Biden's agenda even before he’s sworn in.

Why it matters: The left wing of the party often draws attention for its protests, petitions and tweets, but this deliberate move reflects a determination to move beyond some fights they won't win to engage with Biden strategically, and over the long term.

Dave Lawler, author of World
8 hours ago - World

Venezuela's predictable elections herald an uncertain future

The watchful eyes of Hugo Chávez on an election poster in Caracas. Photo: Cristian Hernandez/AFP via Getty

Venezuelans will go to the polls on Sunday, Nicolás Maduro will complete his takeover of the last opposition-held body, and much of the world will refuse to recognize the results.

The big picture: The U.S. and dozens of other countries have backed an opposition boycott of the National Assembly elections on the grounds that — given Maduro's tactics (like tying jobs and welfare benefits to voting), track record, and control of the National Electoral Council — they will be neither free nor fair.

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