The number of unwanted sexual encounters for cadets at the nation’s service academies has risen sharply in the last two years, the Defense Department said, which raises alarms that current efforts to create a safer atmosphere on those campuses have failed.
The estimated number of incidents of unwanted sexual contact rose from 507 across all service academies in 2016 to 747 in 2018, DoD’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office reported Thursday. The study, undertaken every two years, is based on anonymous surveys submitted from each service academy.
Unlike in previous years, DoD did not say that the increase was tied to an increase in reporting but instead a failure to solve the root culture causes, such as the prevalence of drinking off campus at all of the academies.
DoD’s prevention office has spent years trying to bring sexual assault numbers down, through awareness campaigns and outreach.