Posted: Sep 18, 2013 1:58 PM by Rachel Cole - email@example.com
Updated: Sep 18, 2013 2:15 PM
CORPUS CHRISTI - Sexual assaults in the military have been in the national spotlight over the past year. In that time, the number of sexual assaults reported in Navy has doubled. Officials, like Pat Kapitan, the sexual assault response coordinator with NAS - Corpus Christi says shockingly, that's actually a good sign.
"We're trying to create a safe environment where people can come and report," Kapitan said.
She says the increase in nationwide reports, is credited to the aggressive awareness and prevention campaigns, not because there are more crimes being committed.
"Some of the people that are reporting, are reporting things that happened many years ago but it's given them an opportunity to seek counseling with harrassment or anything like that," Kapitan said.
She explains that prevention training lets hesitant victims know the options that are available to them.
"We have an advocate that's assigned to them and they are available to go with them to an interview or an appointment whatever they need," Kapitan said.
Official reports from the Navy, say by the end of 2013, nationwide, they anticipate a total of 1,100 reports of sexual assault. That's up from the 726 sexual assaults reported in the 2012. Kapitan says no matter how many victims seek help, the S.A.R.C team is there, if they need someone to talk to.
"We're just there for them 24/7," she said.
Plus, the Navy takes every incident that occurs, on or off the base, seriously and adamantly see the whole case through.
"We believe in offender accountability, so our NCIS works closely with CCPD," Kapitan said.
She believes that along with the prevention training, bystander intervention is also a contributing factor that helps sailors, who are abused to reach out and report.
"The more we become aware of what's going on around us, we start watching out for other people," she added.
Most importantly, Navy officials want all service members to know that the door is always open for any victim, looking for closure.
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