WASHINGTON (AP) — Defense officials say that victims of sexual assault in the U.S. military may be more willing to come forward amid heightened attention to the crime. That's one explanation offered for why the number of reported sexual assaults rose by more than 50 percent this year.
More than 5,000 reports of sexual assault were filed during the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, compared to the 3,374 in 2012. The Associated Press obtained the early data.
About 10 percent of the 2013 reports involved incidents that occurred before the victim got into the military, up from just 4 percent only a year ago.
Officials say the increase suggests that confidence in the system is growing and that victims are more willing to come forward.