Military sex assault reports edge up; retaliation persists

Military badge file photo
Military badge. (Photo/file)

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. defense officials say the number of sexual assaults reported by the military edged up in 2016.

Nearly 60 percent of the victims said they faced some type of negative reaction or retaliation as a result of their complaint.

But the defense officials say that an anonymous survey conducted last year shows some progress, as fewer than 15,000 service members said they were victims of unwanted sexual contact. That is 4,000 fewer than in a 2014 survey.

Sexual assault is a highly under-reported crime, so the Pentagon uses anonymous surveys to track the problem.

The new figures are coming out Monday. Several defense officials spoke about the report on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss it publicly ahead of time. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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