Military Service Academies See Increase in Sexual Assaults

Reports of sexual assaults increased in the past year at the military service academies according to the Department of Defense Annual Report on Sexual Harassment and Violence  for the academic year of 2010-2011 which was just released.

The report shows an increase in 2010-2011 with 65 reports of sexual assault involving cadets and midshipmen, compared to 41 reports in the previous academic year.

“One sexual assault is one too many,” Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta said in a DOD news release.

“Whether it’s in our academies or our ranks, at sea or ashore, there’s no place for this unacceptable behavior,” he continued. “We treat each other with dignity in this institution. I expect everyone in this department to live up to that high standard.”

Site visits were conducted at the U.S. Military Academy, U.S. Naval Academy and the U.S. Air Force Academy, to review policies, trainings, and procedures. Cadets and midshipmen also participated in focus groups.

The academies are being required to evaluate and measure their sexual harassment and assault prevention programs.

Additionally, two new policies relating to sexual assault were announced in a news release:

One allows a service member who makes an unrestricted report of a sexual assault to request an expedited transfer to a new duty station. A restricted report, which is confidential, allows a victim to seek medical aid and counseling but is not communicated to the chain of command.

The second new policy standardizes retention periods for sexual assault records across the military services to ensure victims have extended access to those documents.

You can read the annual report HERE.


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