Today, the Department released the annual report on sexual harassment and violence at the Military Service Academies. This year’s report consists of feedback from program compliance inspections and the 292 cadets, midshipmen, faculty, and staff that participated in focus groups. In addition, the department and military service representatives conducted onsite assessments of academy prevention and response efforts.
“The Department recognizes the challenge of combatting sexual assault in the Military Service Academies and the high cost of not succeeding,” said Dr. Elizabeth Van Winkle, executive director of the Office of Force Resiliency. “Our Academies produce our future leaders. At every turn, we must drive out misconduct in place of good order and discipline. Our data last year, and the findings from this years’ report, reflect the progress we have made in some areas, and the significant work that remains. We will not falter in our efforts to eliminate these behaviors from our Academies and to inculcate our expectation that all who serve are treated, and treat others, with dignity and respect.”
Based on the report, in Academic Program Year 2018-2019, the academies received 149 reports of sexual assault involving a cadet or midshipman as a victim and/or subject, up from 117 reports received the year prior. This should not be interpreted as an increase in crime rate, as the next prevalence survey won’t be conducted until the next academic year. The increase in reporting cannot be interpreted until next year’s prevalence survey, which estimates rates of unwanted sexual contact.