HomeNEWSAccusations Of Sexual Assault Rising At US Military Colleges

Accusations Of Sexual Assault Rising At US Military Colleges

During the 2021–22 academic year, there were an increase in sexual assault reports at U.S. military academies, and one in five female students reported having had unwelcome sexual contact in an anonymous poll, according to information obtained by The Associated Press.
According to American officials, the overall number of assaults recorded by students at the Army, Navy, and Air Force academies increased by 18% from the previous year. The Navy, which recorded nearly twice as many assaults in 2022 as in 2021, was a major contributor to the rise. Uncertainty exists regarding the role that the phasing out of COVID-19-related restrictions played in the rise, including at the U.S. Naval Academy, which is situated next to bars in the Maryland city of Annapolis.

The report’s student survey revealed increases in all forms of unwelcome sexual contact, from touching to rape, at all the schools. Alcohol is mentioned as a significant factor.

Through numerous prevention, education, and therapy programs, the military services and schools have fought sexual assault and harassment for years. But the numbers keep rising in spite of reams of study and expanding services. Last month, young troops in the Army advised service officials that small group talks would be more productive than movies and instruction.

On Capitol Hill, the rises have led to uproar and a regular stream of bills. Officials claim that expanded aid programs have inspired more victims to report the crimes, but as of yet, the improvements do not seem to have made a difference in the issue.

U.S. officials state that 155 students, up from 131 the year before, reported attacks during the 2022 academic year. The U.S. Naval Academy students reported 61 of such, roughly double the school’s total from the year before, when there were 33, by far the fewest of all the institutions.
The Air Force Academy in Colorado reported 52, which was the same as the year before, and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in New York reported 42, which was a little lower than the 46 reported the year before.

Not all of the reported assaults took place while the victims’ enrollment in the academies was active. They occasionally come forward to talk about incidents that occurred in the years before they began attending the school because they are encouraged to report assaults. 16 students came forward to allege an attack that happened before they enlisted in the military in the 2021–22 academic year.
Also, 35 cases involved alleged assaults by students on civilians, service members who were on active duty, and prep school students. A total of 206 assaults were reported overall, which is around 28% more than the 161 assaults registered throughout last year.

U.S. officials shared details about the conclusions on the condition of anonymity because the study had not yet been disclosed. Later on Friday, the release of the findings was anticipated.

During the condensed 2019–20 academic year, when in-person classes were cancelled and students were returned home in the spring to continue the semester online, the COVID-19 pandemic caused a small decline in cases at the academies.

Due to the ongoing epidemic, there were a number of restrictions placed on students at the beginning of the 2020–21 academic year. But, as they gradually decreased and pubs and restaurants reopened, the numbers started to rise once more. It’s difficult to establish whether COVID-19 had any effect on the 2021 academic year, according to officials.

Every year, the Pentagon releases two reports on the number of sexual assaults reported by students at military academies and by American service personnel. But, the department also conducts anonymous surveys every two years to gain a clearer understanding of the issue among both the student and active duty population because sexual assault is such an underreported crime. Pentagon officials think the study gives a more accurate picture of the attacks and their causes.

Compared to service members who are not in school, pupils at the academies are less likely to report an assault. Students might be more concerned about how it would affect their military careers or perhaps the careers of their assailants.

According to the most recent poll of academy students, because to COVID-19 restrictions, more women reported having unwelcome sexual contact in the 2022 school year than they did in the prior survey’s year, which was conducted in 2018, when only approximately 16% of women reported having such contact. From 2.6% in 2018 to 4.4% in 2022, the rate for men increased.

According to the survey, guys who were typically in the same class year and more frequently than not knew the victim from school or other activities were more likely to attack women. 55% of the time, attacks on men were carried out by females who knew them and were in the same class as them.
A high of 65% at the Naval Academy indicates that alcohol usage was a factor in well over half of the cases reported in the survey. The research suggests adding further regulations on alcohol use.

The survey also discovered that men in their second and third years were more at risk. And men are still much less likely than women to actually report an assault.

Military officials have long promoted public campaigns urging students to report any incidents, and they contend that a rise in assault reports indicates that students are becoming more confident in speaking up and asking for assistance.
According to the study, the survey’s reported rates of unwelcome sexual contact are “at or above civilian rates” based on data from the American Association of Universities from 2014 and 2018. It is challenging to appropriately compare the military academies with other non-military universities because no other more recent information were available.

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