Today, the Department released the annual report on sexual harassment and violence at the Military Service Academies.
This year's Annual Report on Sexual Harassment and Violence at the Military Service Academies (MSA), Academic Program Year (APY) 2020 – 2021 consists of data on sexual assault and sexual harassment reporting; a new effort to identify cadet and midshipman peer influencers and social networks; an assessment of ongoing prevention and response initiatives; and the Academies’ compliance with Department of Defense and Military Department policy.
"Preventing sexual assault remains one of our highest priorities. No one should experience sexual assault. While we continue efforts to stop these behaviors at our Academies, we encourage survivors to come forward and make reports so we can connect them with recovery care, and aid efforts to hold offenders appropriately accountable," said Elizabeth Foster, executive director of the Office of Force Resiliency. "The Academies must ensure cadets and midshipmen receive an educational experience that is free from sexual assault and harassment, and continue to develop future leaders who will ensure climates of dignity, respect, and inclusion."
Based on the report, in APY 2020-2021, the Department received a total of 161 reports of sexual assault that involved cadets/midshipmen/prep school students as victims and/or alleged perpetrators, an increase of 32 reports from the previous year. Of the total number of reports, 131 were from cadets or midshipmen for incidents that occurred during military service. The reason for increased reporting is unclear, as the Department did not administer a scientific prevalence survey this year.
The Department seeks greater reporting of sexual assault to connect victims with restorative care and to hold offenders appropriately accountable. At the same time, the Department prioritizes prevention, and is implementing multiple efforts to stop it from happening in the first place.
"This year we found that there are influential academy students that make a daily difference helping others. But some still appear hesitant to act and intervene,” said Dr. Nate Galbreath, acting director of the DOD Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office. “We must do more to ensure that our future leaders have the resources and information to step up and take action to make a positive difference.”
The Annual Report on Sexual Harassment and Violence at the Military Service Academies, Academic Program Year 2020 – 2021, a fact sheet with the topline results, and the 2021 Academy Climate and Networking Study is available on www.sapr.mil.