Nearly 6,000 military employees reported sexual assaults this year, marking an eight percent increase compared to 2013. The Pentagon called the increase in reporting “progress” for its handling of sexual assault, but critics call the numbers “appalling.”
Specifically, the Pentagon said 5,983 military personal reported to law enforcement and commanders they were sexually assaulted in 2014. Just 359 of those reports resulted in conviction, and 175 of those had to register as sex offenders.
The Pentagon also conducted an anonymous survey in which nearly 19,000 troops claimed they were sexually assaulted. About 10,500 of these claims were reported by men, and 8,500 were women – a drop of 6,000 compared to the last anonymous survey done in 2012, which lead to a national outcry about what was described as a sexual assault epidemic in the military and created a clamor for reform.
The Department of Defense believes the results show “substantive, comprehensive progress” in combating the crime.
There is always a significant gap between the number of sexual assaults estimated to have occurred and the number reported. In 2012, when 26,000 troops were estimated to have been sexually assaulted based on the anonymous survey results, just 3,374 had reported.