Reports of sexual assaults at US military academies increase sharply
Reports of sexual assaults at U.S. military academies have significantly increased over the past academic year, according to a Department of Defense report released Thursday.
The Annual Report on Sexual Harassment and Violence at the Military Service Academies (MSA), Academic Program Year (APY) 2020 – 2021, which contains numbers of reported instances of sexual harassment and sexual assault, found that figures increased during the 2020-2021 school year as students returned to in person settings.
Reports especially spiked at the Air Force Academy and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
Cadets and midshipmen reported 131 assaults in 2020-2021, increasing from 88 in 2019-2020 and 122 in 2018-2019.
The most assaults (52) were reported by cadets at the Air Force Academy, followed by West Point (46) and the U.S. Naval Academy (33).
“Preventing sexual assault remains one of our highest priorities,” said Elizabeth Foster, executive director of the Office of Force Resiliency, in a statement. “No one should experience sexual assault.”
An anonymous survey including questions about sexual harassment and assault will be given to cadets in the spring in order to determine the most accurate numbers possible.
The spike in report numbers was first reported by the Associated Press.
While the numbers of reported assaults rose in comparison to the previous pandemic year, the 2020-21 figures were also higher than years before the pandemic.
This story was updated at 3:51 p.m.
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