JBLM opens military sexual assault clinic
JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD -- Military officials are unveiling a new center at JBLM that is the first of its kind on a military base.
The U.S. Army Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program Resource Center, or SHARP RC, is described as a one-stop center for survivors of sexual assault.
The number of service members anonymously reporting a sexual assault has grown by more than 30 percent in the past two years, according to a Pentagon report released earlier this year. The Defense Department estimated that more than 26,000 troops experienced an episode of "unwanted sexual contact," a huge jump from the 19,300 reported in 2010.
The number of sexual crimes reported in the fiscal year 2012 was 3,374, a 6 percent increase over the previous year, the report said. Military officials worry that many victims don't come forward because they are frightened of retaliation. But the numbers might indicate that more victims are willing to report crimes than in the past.
JBLM will give the media a tour of the new center at 2 p.m. Tuesday. We expect to hear from Sexual Assault Response Team Director Lieutenant Rob Stelle, Civilian Victim Advocate Ms. Patty Jo McGill and Military Victim Advocate, Staff Sargeant Jerry Shore.
Tune into Q13 FOX News at 5:30 p.m. to learn more about how the center works and how they hope to encourage victims to come forward.