Survey shows increase in harassment, unwanted sexual contact at Coast Guard Academy
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Nearly half of female cadets at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy reported being sexually harassed, and almost 1 in 8 women said they experienced unwanted sexual contact, according to a Pentagon survey released Wednesday, The Associated Press reported.

The 2018 gender relations survey, which was completed anonymously by 77 percent of cadets at the academy, showed that 45 percent of women and 17 percent of men said they experienced sexual harassment, a spike from 36 percent and 11 percent, respectively, in 2016.

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The number of cadets experiencing unwanted sexual contact is the highest it has been since the survey was implemented a decade ago. About 12 percent of female cadets said they experienced unwanted sexual contact, and 3.6 percent of male cadets said the same. These numbers are also up from 8 percent and 3.6 percent, respectively, from 2016, according to the AP.

Among the instances of reported unwanted sexual contact, most are among cadets in the same class year. The AP reported 65 percent of women and 85 percent of men said their offender was a classmate. Seventy percent of women and 92 percent of men did not report their experiences to authorities.

However, 30 percent of women did report unwanted sexual conduct, making 2018 the first time reporting rates among female cadets has surpassed 10 percent. Eight percent of men reported unwanted sexual contact, and, in past years, the reporting rates were low enough that they could not be counted.

The Coast Guard Academy’s sexual assault response coordinator, Shannon Norenberg, told the AP the increased rates of reporting among cadets could be due to the school’s Cadets Against Sexual Assault club, in which cadets are trained on receiving reports of sexual assault from peers.

“I think we’re focusing our efforts in the right direction and in the right way,” Norenberg said.

The surveys were filled out in March 2018, according to the AP. It asked cadets about their experiences since June 2017.  

The Hill has reached out to the Coast Guard Academy for comment.