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New Sexual Assault Stats Reveal Hostile Climate at Military

New Sexual Assault Stats Reveal Hostile Climate at Military Academies

Service Women’s Action Network Responds to Defense Department Sexual Assault Report, Service Academies Still a ‘Hostile Climate’

(WASHINGTON, DC) – Today, the Defense Department released its Annual Report of Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence at the Military Service Academies. The report addresses the June 2012 – May 2013 school year, and reveals statistics indicating a hostile climate in which victims believe academy leadership will not adequately respond to harassment and sexual violence within the ranks.

“Today’s new Defense Department sexual harassment and sexual violence report reveals a pervasive hostile climate at our nation’s military academies,” said Anu Bhagwati, Service Women’s Action Network executive director and former Marine Corps captain. “Sexist attitudes have been ingrained in Academy culture, and numbers suggest that cadets and midshipmen lack faith and confidence in the reporting system. Recent incidents at West Point and the Naval Academy indicate the widespread mistreatment and abuse of service women. Service academies must take decisive steps to transform this culture, including vastly increasing the number of women at the academies. Stopping sexual assault in the ranks starts with stopping sexual assault at our service academies.”

Key findings include:
• Reports of sexual assaults dropped from 80 reports last year to 70 reports during the 2012-2013 academic year.
• More than half of all reports were "restricted reports" which did not lead to investigations or punishments.
• Cadets surveyed indicated that sexist behavior is a normal and accepted part of service academy life.

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