WASHINGTON ( Associated Press) – Reported sexual assaults at U.S. military academies are slated for the 2021-22 school year, with five female cadets saying in an anonymous survey they had experienced sexual harassment, the Associated Press has found. Press.
A military report on reported assaults at Army, Navy and Air Force academies indicated an overall 18% increase in assaults on female cadets compared to the previous year.
The biggest rise was in the Navy, which nearly doubled the number of reported attacks in 2022 compared to 2021. It is unclear whether the phasing of restrictions related to COVID-19 contributed to the rise, also attributed to the Naval Academy in the United States. which adjoins the Maryland barriers of Annapolis.
An anonymous student survey accompanying the report shows an increase in all types of unwanted sexual contact – in all academies to attempt rape. But alcohol is the main factor.
The military and academia have been working for years to address bullying and harassment, with myriad prevention, education and treatment efforts each year. But, despite many investigations, recommendations and a shift to more independent legal causes, the numbers continue to rise.
The increases on Capitol Hill and the steady flow of laws have stirred up resentment. But so far the changes don’t seem to be making a dent in the problem, even though police have argued that better treatment methods are encouraging more victims to report crimes.
According to US officials, 155 cadets reported seizures in the 2022 school year, up from 131 the year before. Their cadets from the United States Naval Academy reported 61, nearly double the school’s total last year, when it was 33 — by far the lowest number of any academy that year.
Cadets at the Air Force Academy in Colorado reported 52, the same number as last year, and those at the United States Military Academy in West Point, New York, reported 42, a slight decrease from last year’s 46.
Not all assaults occurred in relation to when they were registered in the Academy. Because students at the university are encouraged to report attacks, some sometimes report incidents that began years before school began there. As a result, 16 students reported an attack in the school year 2021-2022, which took place before they were enrolled in the military.
Another 35 cases involve civilians, active duty service members and private school students who were allegedly assaulted by a student. The number of reported attacks with any student connection was 206—almost 28% more than last year’s number of 161.
US officials provided details of the findings on condition of anonymity because the report had not yet been made public. The report is to be published in the next few hours.
The COVID-19 pandemic caused a brief drop in cases on campus during the short 2019-2020 school year, when in-person classes were canceled and students were sent home in the spring to complete the semester online.
At the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year, the cadets were facing some restrictions due to the ongoing pandemic, but these were temporarily relaxed and bars and restaurants were reopened. By the end of that year, the numbers had risen, and it’s hard for officials to know what impact, if any, COVID-19 had on the school in 2021.
The Pentagon publishes two reports each year on the number of sexual assaults reported by cadets at military academies and by members of the military. But because sexual assault is an underreported crime, the department also conducts anonymous surveys every two years to get a clearer picture of the problem among the student and active population. Pentagon officials believe the survey provides a more accurate picture of the attacks and the factors that contribute to them.
According to surveys, university students are also less likely to report an assault than members of the workforce who have already graduated from school. Students may be more concerned about the impact on their military career or even career abusers.
According to the most recent survey of academy cadets, 21.4% of women said they had experienced unwanted sexual contact at school in 2022, compared to about 16% in 2018, the last year the survey was conducted due to the restrictions of COVID-19. For men, the rate has increased from 2.6% in 2018 to 4.4% in 2022.
According to the survey, attacks against women are more frequent by a man who is usually in the same school for a year and more than half the time he knows them from school or other activities. The men’s attacks were more frequent – 55% of the time – by a woman who was in the same year at school and knew them.
Alcohol was used in more than half of the cases reported in the survey, with a high of 65% at the Naval Academy. The report recommends additional policies on alcohol consumption.
The report also found that male cadets in their second and third year were at higher risk. And that women are much more likely to report assault than men.
Pentagon officials have for years pushed public campaigns encouraging students to report any attacks, arguing that the rise in attack reports suggests students feel safer seeking help.
According to the report, rates of unwanted sexual contact reported in the survey were “at or above rates among civilians,” in 2014 and 2018 statistics from the Association of American Universities. No other, more recent statistics are available, so it is difficult to accurately compare military universities with other non-military universities.