Reported sex assaults rise at military academies

WASHINGTON — Reported sexual assaults at the ­nation’s three military academies jumped by 23 percent overall this year, but the data signaled a continued reluctance by victims to seek criminal investigations.

According to a report obtained by the Associated Press, the number of assaults rose from 65 in the 2011 academic year to 80 in 2012. However, nearly half the assaults involved victims who sought confidential medical or other care and did not trigger an investigation. There were 41 assaults reported in 2010.

Reported sexual assaults have climbed steadily since the 2009 academic year. The Defense Department has urged the academies to take steps to encourage cadets and midshipmen at the Army, ­Navy, and Air Force academies to report sexual harassment and assaults in order to get care to everyone and hold ­aggressors accountable. The number of assaults reported by the US Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., and the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs increased, while reports at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., declined.


The military also is releasing the results of its biannual anonymous survey of academy students, which showed that 12 percent of the women said they experienced ‘‘unwanted sexual contact’’ and 51 percent said they were sexually ­harassed. Of the men, 2 percent experienced unwanted contact and 10 percent said they were sexually harassed.

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According to the report, all three academies are now meeting department policies and requirements for training and the appointment of sexual assault response coordinators.

Associated Press