An anonymous survey reviewed by The Associated Press has uncovered that sexual assault and sexual misconduct reports increased at both the Navy and Army Academies in 2016, compared to a similar report from 2015. The survey’s results suggest an uphill climb for several new programs that were instituted at Academies in recent years to stem sexual assault incidents. The Marines United online illicit photo scandal is also fresh on peoples’ minds while considering the survey results.
The United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland and the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York both saw sexual assault report increases, according to the survey. On the contrary, the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado saw a significant drop, reporting 32 incidents in 2016, down from 49 the previous year. However, the overall number of reported cases across all three Academies was 86 in 2016, down from 91 in 2015, indicated that some of the anti-assault programs are effective.
Roughly 12% of female Academy members claimed to have experienced some form of sexual misconduct. The survey, as well as this large percentage, suggest that sexual assault incidents are increasing, and so are Academy members’ willingness to report them. A secondary survey also concluded that many students chose not to report sexual misconduct incidents due to either not finding it a serious enough offense, or relying on simpler means of resolving the issue, such as avoidance or confrontation; about 33% of males who claimed to have been sexually assaulted chose to confront the perpetrator directly.
Resolving the issue and minimizing sexual assault incidents in the future appears to be a duty that will fall upon all Academy students, regardless of the programs implemented. Officials are looking towards student leaders to discourage and prevent sexual assault among their peers. To this end, it is much like a senior officer guiding a newer recruit.
(For more information about the survey results, the Military Times published an online article, which can be viewed by clicking here.)
Military Criminal Defense Attorney Joseph L. Jordan has obtained case victories for military service members of all branches of the Armed Forces in front of Court Martials, before the Board of Inquiries, at Article 15 hearings, and more. You can rely on his legal representation if you have been accused of sexually assaulting another military service member, either at an Academy or elsewhere. Contact his law firm at your first opportunity to learn more about all the ways he can help defend your rights and service career.