Incidents of sexual assault are up nearly 50 percent at the nation’s military academies, and reporting rates remain stagnant — troubling trends that Defense Department officials say the schools are addressing but must work harder to change.
According to a congressionally mandated survey conducted every two years at the schools, 747 students reported experiencing unwanted sexual contact during the 2017-2018 academic year, compared with 507 in the 2015-16 school year.
That included 273 cadets at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y.; 254 midshipmen at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md.; and 221 cadets at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. DoD officials said the the numbers total 748 due to rounding.
The 2017-18 survey also noted that of the 747 reported incidents, 117 were reported through official channels, although a third of those reports were filed by students who didn’t wish to have the incidents investigated, according to the Annual Report on Sexual Harassment and Violence at the Service Academies.