Veteran service agencies, clinicians, and local community leaders took part Wednesday in the Serve, Honor, Support symposium at Nazareth College.

Reports of sexual assaults in the U.S. military are up by 50 percent, and federal leaders believe that is due to more people stepping forward as victims of an assault.

This symposium is seen as one way to take the steps necessary so that people are protected and treated with equal respect.

Tom Tartaglia is a Marine Corps veteran and runs Warrior Salute, a program that allows area veterans to transition back into the community.

"Symposiums like this really kind of put those things out there so people do understand and really having the clinicians learn best practice and understand better ways," Tartaglia said.

Benjamin Miller is in the U.S. Navy, where he educates his unit on their rights and responsibilities. He believes the best way to combat the crime is to prevent it.

"I try to preach good behaviors, preach the intervention," Miller said. "You see your buddy in trouble, you do what you have to do to help them."

"The more that we can reach out to practitioners, to individuals so people feel more comfortable reporting and so that the practitioners know to ask the right questions so that they can reach people and help them."

Many of the experts believe the key to tackling this issue includes increased military reporting, improved training, and shared information.

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