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Rape up 55% in US military academies: Pentagon

9 January 2016 10:17



Reports of sexual assault at the three US military academies increased by more than 50 percent last year, Pentagon officials have confirmed.

The Pentagon’s review of sexual harassment and assault at the US Military Academy, West Point, New York; the Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland; and the Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colorado, showed that during the academic year 2014-2015, a total of 91 cases were filed, the MilitaryTimes said Friday.

Out of that figure, 54 cases were filed as “unrestricted,” meaning they can undergo a full investigation by the military commands and law enforcement agencies, authors of the “Annual Report of Sexual Harassment and Violence at the US Service Academies,” noted.

The Air Force Academy, which consistently has had the most number of reported cases since 2011, saw the largest increase from the previous year, with 49 reports, 27 of them unrestricted.

This is almost twice the 25 reports filed in the preceding school year.

West Point cadets filed 17 reports during the same period, including 15 unrestricted cases. The Naval Academy received 25 reports of assault, with nearly equally split shares of unrestricted and restricted complaints.

Women accounted for the majority of the reports of sexual assault. However, 12 percent of the assault reports at West Point were filed by men, while the figure for the Naval Academy and the Air Force Academy was 16 and 10 percent respectively.

Sexual harassment reports also saw an increase in academic year 2014-2015, where the academies received 28 complaints, up from 20 the year before.

Pentagon officials welcomed the increase, arguing that it underscores a “growing trust in the system” to handle complaints appropriately.

Earlier in the week, the Associated Press reported that children of US service members are also sexually assaulted hundreds of times each year.

Official data by the Department of Defense shows that at least 1,584 substantiated cases of sexual abuse against military dependents have been reported between fiscal years 2010 and 2014.

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