Reports Of Military Sexual Assault Up 50% In 2013
Reports of sexual assaults in the military jumped 50 percent last year.
The numbers for 2013 were released by the Pentagon Thursday and have caught the attention of military installations around the world, including Fort Drum.
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel says there were over 5,000 reports of sexual assault in 2013, 50 percent more than the over 3,000 from the previous fiscal year.
Hagel says sexual assaults are a threat to both women and men in uniform. He says the Pentagon must do more to fight a culture that discourages victims from reporting assault.
Hagel is introducing six new initiatives to combat sexual assaults. Those include a review of alcohol policies, as well as efforts to hear from more male victims.
Hagel says the spike in reports last year is a result of making the reporting process easier.
A total of 484 sexual assault cases went to trial in the last fiscal year.