Reports of sexual assault in the US military increased by nearly 10% in 2017, according to the Pentagon’s annual study released on Monday, as the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps all documented a rise in reported incidents.
The study shows that last year, 5,277 service members reported being sexually assaulted during their time in the military compared to 4,794 in 2016.
The Army recorded the highest number of reported assaults last year with 2,706 and saw an increase of 8.4% compared to 2016. The Air Force documented 1,480 reports with an increase of 9.2% while the Navy saw an increase of 9.3% with 1,585 reports, according to the Pentagon study.
But the Marine Corps saw the largest increase in reports among the four branches at 14.7% — a rise that has caught the attention of the Pentagon’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office.
Nathan Galbreath, the deputy director of the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office said:
“We attribute this largely to people hearing their commanders and their leadership talking about how important this is … how that no one should have to tolerate sexual assault … to come forward help that you need so we can get you the restorative care that you require and then also to hold defenders appropriately accountable.”