PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Rhode Island National Guard officials have failed to describe the average number of sexual assault reports they handle in a year during a hearing with the House Committee on Veterans Affairs.

The Providence Journal reports ( ) Brig. Gen. Christopher Callahan and Col. Andrew Chevalier appeared before the committee Thursday to promote their sexual assault prevention and advocacy program.

When asked to provide an “average caseload,” Callahan said the numbers could compromise ongoing investigations or “erode confidence” in the reporting system.

Democratic Rep. Camille Vella-Wilkinson says numbers are necessary to judge the scale of the problem. She says if the Rhode Island National Guard is unable to provide the numbers, she will turn to federal agencies.

The Journal has filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the Department of Defense.

Information from: The Providence Journal,