The Department of Defense (DoD) released results of the Academic Program
Year 2007-2008 Service Academy Gender Relations Survey today.
The department conducts this congressionally-mandated study every two years at the U.S. Military Academy, the U.S. Naval Academy, and the U.S. Air Force Academy. The military service academies (MSA) also provide Congress with assessments of their programs to combat sexual harassment and violence.
The majority of academy students indicated leadership at every level was making honest and reasonable attempts to stop sexual assault and sexual harassment. Most cadets and midshipmen also indicated sexual assault has become less of a problem since they enrolled in their academy.
"We are committed to preventing sexual assault. We know sexual assault is an underreported crime, and we must foster a climate of confidence at the academies wherein victims no longer avoid reporting these crimes," said David S. C. Chu, under secretary of defense for personnel and readiness.
"It is essential for the department to emphasize and institutionalize programs addressing sexual harassment and violence. We want the academies to ignite a culture transformation that spreads throughout the entire department," said Chu.
Survey results reveal the number of restricted and unrestricted reports made to authorities at the MSAs has decreased overall; the department estimates 90 percent of sexual assaults are going unreported at the academies. Some of the common reasons cited by the students for not reporting the incidents included dealing with the incident themselves, experiencing shame and embarrassment over the situation, and feeling uncomfortable making a report.
The survey also found nearly all academy students received awareness and prevention training addressing sexual harassment and violence. Over 90 percent of students indicated the training had at least some effect in reducing or eliminating sexual assaults at the MSAs.
The department anonymously surveyed all female students and a statistically
representative random sample of male students at the academies. Although completing the survey is strictly voluntary, 74 percent participated.
The complete report is available at http://www.sapr.mil . For specific information contact the individual military services at (703) 697-2564 for Army, (703) 695-0640 for Air Force, and (703) 697-5342 for Navy.