Sexual Assault Reports On the Rise At U.S. Military Academies


The number of sexual assaults reported at the Naval Academy doubled during the 2010-2011 academic year, as did the percentage of female midshipmen reporting unwanted sexual contact, according to Defense Department report quoted by the Baltimore Sun. Assaults reported at the Naval Academy rose from 11 to 22, more than the 10 at the U.S. Military Academy but fewer than the 33 at the Air Force Academy.

Overall, the number of assaults reported at the three service academies rose from 41 to 65. “We know that the military academies are similar to college campuses around the country in that sexual harassment and assault are challenges that all faculty, staff and students need to work to prevent,” said Maj. Gen. Mary Kay Hertog, director of the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office. The report attributed at least some of the increase in reports to greater awareness of sexual violence and growing confidence in the reporting process. The percentage of female midshipmen who said they had been subjected to unwanted sexual contact rose from 8.3 in 2008 to 16.5 in 2010 — nearly one in six. The percentage of male midshipmen reporting such contact rose from 2.4 to 3.4 during the same span. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said “one sexual assault is one too many.”

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