DOD Evaluates Sexual Harassment and Prevention Response Efforts at Military Academies
The Department of Defense (DoD) today released key findings from the Academic Program Year (APY) 2011-2012 “Annual Report on Sexual Harassment and Violence at the United States Military Service Academies.” As part of this year’s review, the superintendents of the U.S. Military Academy, U.S. Naval Academy, and the U.S. Air Force Academy assessed their academy’s policies, training, and procedures for effectiveness of prevention and response to sexual harassment and violence. The report also contains the results from the “2012 Service Academy Gender Relations Survey.”
Consistent with department-wide efforts to increase victim reporting, the academies saw an overall increase in the number of sexual assault reports made to authorities in APY 2011-2012. During the evaluation period, a total of 80 reports of sexual assault involved cadets and midshipmen compared to a total of 65 reports in the prior APY. Thirteen of the reports made this year were for sexual assaults that occurred prior to the cadets and midshipmen entering military service, as compared to five such reports made in the previous year. All who reported a sexual assault were provided with access to support services through their sexual assault response coordinators.
“We recognize there is more work to do on sexual assault prevention across the Department of Defense as well as at the military academies,” said Maj. Gen. Gary S. Patton, director, DoD Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office.
Anonymous survey results showed the overall rate of unwanted sexual contact at the service academies has not changed since 2010. The Service Academy Gender Relations Survey found a slight increase in the prevalence rate of unwanted sexual contact among female cadets at the United States Military Academy. There was no statistical change in the prevalence of unwanted sexual contact among male cadets and midshipmen.
Survey results also showed a significant decrease in the prevalence of sexual harassment experienced by women at the U.S. Air Force Academy and men at the U.S. Naval Academy. There were no other statistically significant changes in prevalence rates of sexual harassment at the academies.
Citing the need for greater progress, the secretary has directed the services to review and enhance their academy programs: http://www.defense.gov/news/ServiceAcademiesSecDefMemo.pdf . The service secretaries are to report back to him in 90 days with plans to advance a climate of dignity and respect and to more completely integrate sexual assault and harassment prevention into the full spectrum of academy life and learning.
“My staff and I plan to work with each academy and service in the months ahead to find new ways to incorporate prevention of sexual assault and harassment into academy culture,” said Patton.
The complete report is available at http://www.sapr.mil . For academy specific information, contact the individual military services at 703-697-2564 for Army, 703-697-5342 for Navy, and 703-695-0640 for Air Force.