Instances of sexual assault are down and reporting is up in the Navy, but there are still some trouble spots on officials' minds, especially male victims and retaliation against those who report abuse.

While progress has been made, according to the head of the 21st Century Sailor Office, reports of of retaliation and assaults against men are holding steady.

Statistics in the fiscal 2014 Annual Report on Sexual Assault in the Military, released Friday, show the Navy experienced a 10 percent bump in reports over the previous year.

In addition to internal reports, the services are relying heavily on the 2012 and 2014 Rand military workplace studies to put the statistics in context.

The 2012 Rand study found that 62 percent of those who reported unwanted sexual contact felt they had been retaliated against, and the number didn't budge in 2014, Rear Adm. Rick Snyder told reporters in a Friday phone interview.

"I am concerned that a high percentage of victims perceive that negative things happen to them [after reporting an assault]," he said. "We're worried about that number."

The Rand study doesn't specify what kind of retaliation they felt, which could include everything from punishments and missed career opportunities to feelings of isolation at a command. That's something the Navy is trying to learn more about, Snyder said.

"Action is underway with getting more info about what the victims are actually experiencing," he said.

In terms of male assault victims, there's a focus on hazing and initiation activities that cross into sexual assault territory.

Men made up half of the service members who had experienced unwanted sexual contact, according to the Rand study, reporting mostly that the incidents happened multiple times, with multiple perpetrators, without the involvement of alcohol, as some sort of hazing ritual.

The reporting rate for women has raised dramatically in the past few years, Snyder said, but reports are stagnant for men at a rate of about 8 percent.

One in three women report, on the other hand.

"The victims need to understand that what they're experiencing, although they may consider it hazing or initiation, we need to look at more broadly," he said. "It's sexual assault if it involves sex parts."

Going forward, the Navy plans to work to eliminate the stigma surrounding sexual assault again men, according to the DoD SAPR report.

Meghann Myers is the Pentagon bureau chief at Military Times. She covers operations, policy, personnel, leadership and other issues affecting service members. Follow on Twitter @Meghann_MT

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