NORFOLK-The Navy says cases of reported sexual assault are up.
While on its face the increase seems very alarming, Navy leaders believe it is also encouraging because it shows that fleet-wide initiatives to encourage victims to come forward are working.
In Fiscal Year 2012, there were 726 reported cases of sexual assault. It is projected for Fiscal Year 2013, which ends September 30, the number will reach 1,100 -- a 51.5 % increase.
'I believe that we have clearly defined to sailors what sexual assault is,' said Rear Admiral Sean Buck, the Navy's top sexual assault prevention and response officer said.'We have clearly put into place the process for them to report and to try to make the offender held accountable. And we also in leadership levels have built a significant level of trust with our sailors that if they choose to report, we'll do something about it.'
Buck is in Hampton Roads for the Navy Mid-Atlantic Region's annual sexual assault response and prevention workshop.
'One sexual assault is one too many. Our goal is to eliminate it from the Navy,' Adm. Buck stressed.