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Pentagon sees spike in military sexual assault reports

Aerial view of the Pentagon building.
Aerial view of the Pentagon building. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

Sexual assault reports have spiked across all four branches in the U.S. military, with an overall increase of 10% last year, according to an annual report the Pentagon released Monday.

By the numbers: 6,769 sexual assaults cases were reported in the last fiscal year ending Sept. 30, compared with 6,172 made in 2016.

  • The report also factored in reported incidents that occurred before service members joined the military. Of the total reports made last year, 5,277 service members reported being sexual assaulted during military service, compared to 4,794 in 2016.
  • Meanwhile, the report said there were 146 reports of retaliation last year compared to 84 in 2016. 

What they're saying: "Pentagon officials say the increase in reporting reflects a broader confidence in the system and is a positive trend because sexual assault is a highly underreported crime," writes the AP. "But it’s unclear if the larger jumps in harassment and retaliation complaints reflect a similar confidence or simply represent a growing problem."