Sexual Assault Cases Up 64 Percent at Military Academies Aol Original David Wood Sexual assaults at the nation's prestigious military academies have soared, with reported cases rising 64 percent during the 2009-2010 academic year, according to a new Pentagon report. The actual numbers of reported cases – 25 in academic year 2008-2009 and 51 cases in 2009-2010 – may be significantly understated, the report indicated. According to a survey of cadets at the academies, fewer than one in 10 cases are actually reported. The rest go unreported because cadets fear being the object of gossip, or are uncomfortable reporting a sexual offense to academy authorities, or feel the incident is not significant enough to report. The rise in sexual crime comes despite concerted efforts by the Defense Department to crack down on sexual misbehavior and to encourage military members to report incidents and to seek counseling and other help -- which may in part explain the increase in incident reports. The Defense Department has mandated increased training on sexual harrassment and assault, not only for academy cadets but across the armed forces. One "unexpected result,'' the Pentagon study said, "is that education about a problem may enable individuals to better recognize it when it occurs. As a result, increases in surveyed incidence rates may reflect better identification of problem behaviors.'' "Sexual harassment and assault are incompatible with our core values, degrade mission readiness and reflect poorly on military culture, Clifford L. Stanley, the Pentagon's personnel chief, said in a statement. "The department is committed to establishing a culture free of sexual harassment and assault.'' According to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), more than 48,000 female veterans suffer from military sexual trauma, the result of sexual assault or harassment during their military service. The number of women in the military, enlisted and officer, active duty and reserve, is 1,341,727. The American Civil Liberties Union and the Service Women's Action Network this week sued the Pentagon and the VA to force release of data documenting how military service members' complaints were handled. The ACLU said one in three women are sexually assaulted during their service, but the military "has failed systematically to investigate complains, punish perpetrators and treat the health conditions suffered by the assaulted women. According to the ACLU, only 8 percent of alleged military perpetrators are prosecuted. "The U.S. cannot continue to turn a blind eye to these crimes,'' the ACLU said in a statement. "We filed this lawsuit because the extent to which the government addresses, ignores, and hides military sexual trauma and its effects must be known. Only then can we do right by those who have been assaulted in uniform.'' http://www.politicsdaily.com/2010/12/15/sexual-assault-cases-up-64-percent-at-military-academies/ I came across this and thought it was interesting. I've done overnights at USMA and USNA and I have asked female cadets/mids about this topic. All of them have said that their fellow male cadets/mids are like brothers. They explained that in the majority of cases, the female put herself in a bad situation (ie getting drunk, flirting). I take news with a grain of salt but I was wondering what everyone's thoughts are on this article. Feedback from current cadets/mids would be highly appreciated.