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Sexual assaults are down in the US military. Here’s what to know about the numbers

WASHINGTON (AP) — Pentagon officials are cautiously optimistic that an overall decline in reported sexual assaults among active-duty service members and the military academies suggests that leaders are finally getting a handle on what has been a persistent problem.

“The department’s leadership has made this a top priority issue and has been deeply committed to this work, and that work is starting to bend the curve,” Beth Foster, executive director of the Pentagon’s office of force resiliency, said Thursday.

But it is a long and difficult road ahead to maintain the progress, particularly in the Army, Navy and Air Force academies, where officials say hazing and other toxic behavior had become the norm.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin called the latest report encouraging but added that “we must double down on our efforts to end sexual assault and sexual harassment.”

Here are some takeaways from the latest assessment of sexual assaults in the U.S. military:


During the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, there were 8,515 sexual assaults involving members of the U.S. military, a decrease from 8,942 in 2022. Despite the decline, the 8,515 is the third-highest number of reported assaults since the Defense Department began collecting the data.

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