Sexual assault reports at Maryland military bases increase

The number of people who reported sexual assaults at military installations in Maryland increased 75 percent from 2013 to last year, the Pentagon said Friday.

The numbers appeared in a first-ever base-by-base analysis of non-domestic-abuse allegations of sexual assault. Those allegations had previously been reported only in aggregate totals.

Lisae C. Jordan, executive director of the Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault, said the release of installation-specific data is a welcome improvement over the aggregate information the Pentagon typically releases.

“The more we know about each individual culture at each individual base, the better we’re able to address it,” Jordan said.

The three-quarters jump in Maryland — from 78 reports across nine military facilities to 137 allegations last year — outpaced the nearly 21 percent increase across the entire military. Reports worldwide from all four military branches increased from 4,432 in 2013 to 5,358 last year.

Among Maryland installations, Fort Meade saw the biggest increase. The Army base in Anne Arundel County, the state’s largest workplace, saw reports rise from 24 in 2013 to 47 last year — an increase of 95 percent.

The Naval Academy in Annapolis and Joint Base Andrews in Prince George’s County saw increases of about 42 percent increase over the three years. There were 24 reports at the Naval Academy in 2016 and 20 at Andrews.

Across the branches worldwide, the Army saw the largest surge. Reports at Army installations rose 37 percent to 2,205 last year. Reports at Air Force bases rose 27 percent. Reports at Naval installations were up nearly 16 percent.

Reports at Marine installations declined nearly 7 percent.

The Department of Defense report details non-domestic abuse sexual assault allegations received and managed by Sexual Assault Response Coordinators at bases around the world.

Dr. Nate Galbreath, deputy director of the Defense Department’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office, said the number of reports listed for an installation “does not necessarily mean that the alleged incident occurred there.”

He said, “A report could involve allegations for an incident that occurred while on deployment, while away on leave, or even prior to entering the military.”

The numbers reported on Friday reflect allegations by people of sexual assaults by people unrelated to them. They include active-duty service members, activated Reserve and National Guard troops and civilians who allege assaults by active-duty military personnel.

The statistics do not include allegations involving spouses or intimate partners or dependent children.

The Pentagon also reported Friday that prevalence rates of sexual assault in the military have continued to decline. The department reported that prevalence rates among active-duty women went from 6.1 percent in 2012 to 4.3 percent last year. The rates fell for active duty men, too: from 1.2 percent in 2012 to 0.6 percent in 2016.

ddonovan@baltsun.com

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