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    Military Sex Assaults Skyrocket by 38% Over Two Years

    Reuters / Kacper Pempel

    Reports of sexual assaults in the U.S. military jumped by nearly 38 percent from 2016 to 2018, with an estimated 20,500 allegations of unwanted sexual contact last year. The numbers come from a report, set to be released Thursday by the Pentagon, seen by USA Today. The report surveyed Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine personnel who reported that the number of sex assaults has risen significantly since the 14,900 recorded in the last survey in 2016. Unwanted sexual contact includes all forms of assault, ranging from groping to rape. Female troops between the ages of 17 to 24 were at the highest risk and more than 85 percent of victims said they knew their assailant. Alcohol was reported to be involved in 62 percent of the assaults. Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA), the chairwoman of the Armed Services Committee’s personnel panel, said: “Congress must lead the way in forcing the department to take more aggressive approaches to fighting this scourge.”