JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – They are our nation’s heroes and according to a new report, many of them are becoming victims of abuse.
More female service members are reporting sexual abuse. According to a health survey by the Pentagon, reports are significantly higher now than just five years ago.
"I wouldn't give it a black eye. I'd give it a bruise," said Ret. Navy Adm. Robert Natter.
Natter has three daughters who have all served at one point, so the survey hits close to home.
“Women make up a very significant part of our military and its effectiveness and the last thing they need to worry about is being harassed because they are women."
The Pentagon reports roughly one out of five military women say they were victims of unwanted sexual contact by another service member. Nearly 30 percent of women in the Marine Corps spoke out and about 24 percent in the Army and Navy.
Natter says military leaders will continue to work on educating its service members. “It's awareness of what perceptions are in respect to inappropriate behavior. Certainly sexual harassment has no place in the military and the military is appropriately focused on it."