05.08.1310:37 AM ET

Pentagon: Military Sexual Assaults on the Rise

7,000 more in 2012 than in 2010.

Twenty-six thousand people were sexually assaulted in the military last year, according to a Pentagon survey released Tuesday. That’s up from 19,000 in 2010. The new numbers come just two days after the Air Force officer in charge of sexual-assault prevention was himself arrested for sexual assault, and the figures have spurred outrage in Washington. As The New York Times reports, President Obama said he has ordered Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to “step up our game exponentially” to prevent sexual violence, saying he wanted victims of sexual assault in the military to know that “I’ve got their backs.” In Congress, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and other members of the Senate Armed Services Committee are seeking to have all sex offenders in the military automatically discharged, saying that rampant sexual assault is “undermining the credibility of the greatest military force in the world.”