‘Sexual assaults rise at US military academies’

Last Updated: Wednesday, December 28, 2011 - 11:57

Washington: The number of sexual assaults
reported at the country`s prestigious military academies rose
sharply for the second year in a row, according to a Pentagon
report issued on Wednesday.

A total of 65 sexual assault cases were reported at the
three academies in 2010-11 compared to 41 reports in the
previous academic year, the report said.

The rise comes amid extensive efforts by the academies
for the Army, Navy and Air Force to prevent sexual assaults
and to raise awareness of the problem.

The Pentagon said it was unclear why the number of
reported sexual assaults rose and that it was possible that
due to recent initiatives, more victims were coming forward to
notify authorities.

"The Department does not have the ability to conclusively
identify the reasons for this increase in reporting behavior,"
said the report.

"However, in prior years` assessments, the Department
identified steps the academies could take to encourage more
victims to report. Some of the increased reporting of sexual
assault may be attributed to these efforts as well as many
other factors," it said.

The 41 reported sexual assaults reported at the academies
in 2009-2010 marked a 64 percent increase from the previous
academic period, according to Pentagon documents.

Today`s report said all the academies were complying with
strict Defense Department rules on preventing sexual assaults
and in some cases surpassed requirements with innovative
programs to try to address the problem.

"When service members report sexual assaults, the
Department is better positioned to provide resources to
victims and hold those who commit sexual assault accountable,
as appropriate," the report said.

The report also announced a new policy that will allow a
cadet who files a report of sexual assault to be transferred
promptly.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, December 28, 2011 - 09:51

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