Reported Sexual Assaults Decreasing at Military Service Academies

But officials say its unclear if it is because assaults have decreased or fewer victims are coming forward.

National Journal
Jordain Carney
Add to Briefcase
Jordain Carney
Jan. 10, 2014, 12:38 p.m.

Al­though a new re­port shows a de­crease in the num­ber of sexu­al as­saults at two of the three U.S. mil­it­ary ser­vice academies, it’s un­clear wheth­er the res­ults re­flect a drop in the num­ber of at­tacks or if few­er vic­tims are com­ing for­ward.

A total of 70 sexu­al as­saults were re­por­ted at the academies between June 2012 and May 2013, ac­cord­ing to the De­fense De­part­ment’s yearly re­port on sexu­al har­ass­ment and vi­ol­ence in the academies, which was re­leased Fri­day. This com­pares with 80 sexu­al as­saults re­por­ted from the 2011-12 aca­dem­ic pro­gram year (APY) re­port re­leased last year.

Fifty-three of those 70 sexu­al as­saults oc­curred to ca­dets and mid­ship­men while they were in mil­it­ary ser­vice, and 11 oc­curred be­fore­hand, ac­cord­ing to the sur­vey. An­oth­er five cases were re­por­ted by ci­vil­ians al­leging that they were sexu­ally as­saul­ted by a ca­det or mid­ship­man. The Nav­al Academy showed a slight up­tick in re­ports of sexu­al as­sault in the 2012-13 APY com­pared with the pre­vi­ous sur­vey, but the num­ber of re­por­ted sexu­al as­saults de­creased at the Mil­it­ary Academy and the Air Force Academy in the same time peri­od.

However, “the de­part­ment can­not de­term­ine wheth­er the [over­all] de­crease in re­port­ing this year at the ser­vice academies was due to few­er as­saults oc­cur­ring or few­er vic­tims opt­ing to re­port,” said Army Maj. Gen. Jef­frey Snow, dir­ect­or of the Pentagon’s Sexu­al As­sault Pre­ven­tion and Re­sponse Of­fice.

Sep­ar­ately, the Ser­vice Academy Gender Re­la­tions Sur­vey — a bi­en­ni­al study — re­ports the num­ber of ca­dets and mid­ship­men that ex­per­i­ence un­wanted sexu­al con­tact dur­ing the pre­vi­ous year. That sur­vey was not re­leased in 2013. 

Peer pres­sure and ser­vice-academy cul­ture con­tin­ue to play a role in pre­vent­ing sexu­al-as­sault vic­tims from com­ing for­ward, the re­port re­leased Fri­day found. Sexu­al as­sault is con­sidered one of the most un­der­re­por­ted crimes both in­side and out­side of the mil­it­ary. The De­fense De­part­ment’s defin­i­tion of sexu­al as­sault does not in­clude sexu­al har­ass­ment.

Eliza­beth Van Winkle, with the De­fense De­part­ment’s Man­power Data Cen­ter, said that a 2012 de­part­ment sur­vey found that 80 to 90 per­cent of fe­males at the ser­vice academies re­por­ted that they ex­per­i­enced crude, of­fens­ive, or sex­ist be­ha­vi­or dur­ing the pre­vi­ous 12 months.

“This is your typ­ic­al lock­er-room talk,” she said, re­fer­ring to the of­fens­ive be­ha­vi­or. Van Winkle said that fo­cus groups told of­fi­cials the rates seemed ac­cur­ate, and “many said we’re sur­prised it’s not high­er.”

Su­per­in­tend­ents of the mil­it­ary academies are ex­pec­ted to sub­mit a plan on how to over­come sexu­al as­sault and change the cur­rent cul­ture by March 31.

Snow said it was his goal to “re­duce, with the in­tent to elim­in­ate, sexu­al as­sault in the mil­it­ary. It’s a daunt­ing task. I’ve lost a lot of sleep in my first week on the job.”

What We're Following See More »
TRUMP CONTINUES TO LAWYER UP
Kasowitz Out, John Dowd In
2 hours ago
THE LATEST

As the Russia investigation heats up, "the role of Marc E. Kasowitz, the president’s longtime New York lawyer, will be significantly reduced. Mr. Trump liked Mr. Kasowitz’s blunt, aggressive style, but he was not a natural fit in the delicate, politically charged criminal investigation. The veteran Washington defense lawyer John Dowd will take the lead in representing Mr. Trump for the Russia inquiry."

Source:
ALSO INQUIRES ABOUT PARDON POWER
Trump Looking to Discredit Mueller
2 hours ago
THE LATEST

President Trump's attorneys are "actively compiling a list of Mueller’s alleged potential conflicts of interest, which they say could serve as a way to stymie his work." They plan to argued that Mueller is going outside the scope of his investigation, in inquiring into Trump's finances. They're also playing small ball, highlighting "donations to Democrats by some of" Mueller's team, and "an allegation that Mueller and Trump National Golf Club in Northern Virginia had a dispute over membership fees when Mueller resigned as a member in 2011." Trump is said to be incensed that Mueller may see his tax returns, and has been asking about his power to pardon his family members.

Source:
INCLUDES NY PROBE INTO MANAFORT
Why Yes, Mueller Is Looking into Trump Businesses
7 hours ago
THE LATEST

In addition to ties between Russia and the Trump campaign, Robert Mueller's team is also "examining a broad range of transactions involving Trump’s businesses as well as those of his associates, according to a person familiar with the probe. FBI investigators and others are looking at Russian purchases of apartments in Trump buildings, Trump’s involvement in a controversial SoHo development in New York with Russian associates, the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow, and Trump’s sale of a Florida mansion to a Russian oligarch in 2008, the person said. The investigation also has absorbed a money-laundering probe begun by federal prosecutors in New York into Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort."

Source:
FIRST TIME SINCE ITS CREATION
House Reauthorizes DHS
8 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"The House voted Thursday to reauthorize the Department of Homeland Security. The bipartisan measure passed easily by a vote of 386-41, with nine Republicans and 32 Democrats voting in opposition. If the bill makes it through the Senate, it would be the first-ever reauthorization of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) since it was created in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks." Among the provisions it contains is a mandate that the Senate confirm the Secret Service director. It also boosts funding for the Urban Area Security Initiative by $195 million per year.

Source:
OPPONENTS SAY SHE SHOULD RESIGN
AFT’s Weingarten Likens Voucher Support to Segregation
8 hours ago
THE DETAILS

In remarks scheduled to be delivered today at the American Federation of Teachers' summer conference, President Randi Weingarten "likens U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to a climate-change denier" and "says the Trump administration's school choice plans are secretly intended to starve funding from public schools. She calls taxpayer-funded private school vouchers, tuition tax credits and the like 'only slightly more polite cousins of segregation.'" The pro-voucher Center for Education Reform said teachers should "consider inviting Weingarten’s resignation."

Source:
×
×

Welcome to National Journal!

You are currently accessing National Journal from IP access. Please login to access this feature. If you have any questions, please contact your Dedicated Advisor.

Login