The Pentagon reports that cases of sexual assaults at military service academies rose drastically in the 2018-19 school year. While reports of sexual assaults dropped between 2012 and 2014, that trend has reversed, and there was a 27 percent rise in unwanted sexual contacts for the reported period.
The Findings of the Report
The report posited a multitude of findings. To begin, the data show that the age group of greatest risk in the military’s service academies for sexual assault is the 17 to 24-year-old members. The report also found that of the 149 accusations leveled in the 2018-2019 school year, 130 were against active-duty cadets or midshipmen. Similarly, the report also found that these two ranks also tended not to intervene “except in the most obvious situations,” and “live in cultures tolerant of sexually harassing behavior and alcohol misuse.” The military service academy with the highest prevalence was West Point, with 57 reports. Following West Point were the Air Force Academy with 40 reports and the Naval Academy with 33 reports.
Current State of the Culture at the Military Service Academies
According to the report, students remain apprehensive about reporting sexual assault. This is because they fear negative impacts professionally, socially, and academically. Students noted that academy culture was very much a “stereotypical male culture” which requires females to fit in with the “boy’s club.” The report found that students in the service academies are substantially desensitized to disrespectful behaviors such as sexual harassment. These types of behaviors are “normal,” making sexual assault in military climates more likely.
Moreover, the report found that there are several barriers that deter reporting and help-seeking. Chief among the concerns of participants was that of false reporting. However, males and females perceived the impact of false reporting differently. Men “fear being falsely accused and punished without the chance to defend themselves,” while women observed that many of their peers are swift to assume the victim is lying. Additionally, participants in the report voiced concern about the reporting process generally. The reporting process poses a barrier to reporting because it “takes too long, rarely concludes in the victim’s favor, and forces survivors to re-experience trauma.”
Red Bank Sexual Harassment Lawyers At McOmber McOmber & Luber, P.C. Advocate For Victims Of Sexual Harassment
If you have experienced sexual harassment, assault on campus, or sexual misconduct in the workplace, contact the dedicated Red Bank sexual harassment lawyers at McOmber McOmber & Luber, P.C. to schedule a free and confidential consultation about your case. Our team of compassionate and hard-working lawyers is here to help. Call our Red Bank office today at 732-842-6500, our Marlton office at 856-985-9800, or contact us online. From our Red Bank and Marlton, New Jersey offices, we represent clients throughout the state.