RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The Department of Defense released data that showed the number of non-domestic sexual assault reports managed or received by Sexual Assault Response Coordinators.
Five North Carolina military installations are listed among the dozens that show data ranging from 2013 through 2016.
The Department of Defense uses the term “sexual assault” when referring to penetrating crimes, sexual contact crimes and attempted sexual assault.
In 2013 at Fort Bragg, a total of 89 reports were received. That number grew to 100 in 2014, 114 in 2015 and then 146 in 2016.
The Cumberland County Rape Crisis Center says they see sexual assault victims constantly.
“It could’ve happened last night and we got a report and they feel more comfortable coming off post for different reasons, there’s still that trust factor with their command, they’re still concerned about their job and promotion whether it’s their job or security clearances,” said DeAnne Gerdes, executive director of the Cumberland County Rape Crisis Center.
Victim advocates say the rise in numbers does have a positive behind it as it could mean victims are becoming more comfortable reporting assaults.
“If those numbers are rising that could be a positive thing in that victims are reporting more, not that the crime is happening more but that the reporting rate is up,” said Gerdes.
In a statement, Fort Bragg officials say that could be the reason, but they’re also looking into population growth as possible reasons for higher amount of rapes reported on post.
Camp Lejeune had 151 total reports in 2013.
In 2014, Lejeune’s number dropped slightly to 150 before ballooning to 164 in 2015 and then 169 in 2016.
Marine Corp Air Station Cherry Point’s data shows 49 reports in 2013 and then 44 in 2014. Cherry Point had 49 total reports in 2015 before that number dropped to 27 in 2016.
The Marine Corp Air Station New River had 16 total reports in 2013, 32 in 2014, 27 in 2015 and 32 in 2016.
Seymour Johnson Air Force Base had the fewest total reports of the North Carolina installations.
Seymour Johnson had 14 total reports in 2013.
In 2014, Seymour Johnson had 16 total before it dropped to 13 in 2015 and 2016.