Overall, the Pentagon’s Sexual Assault Prevention as well as Response Office’s assessment found that will reporting of sexual assault at the service academies increased inside the 2017 school year — documenting a total of 112 reports of sexual assault, up through 86 reports received inside the prior year.
“Most of the reporting increase occurred at the US Military Academy following a change in reporting policy as well as the relocation of its victim assistance office,” according to the DOD.
“We are absolutely committed to doing the Academies safe,” Robert Wilkie, under secretary of defense for personnel as well as readiness, said in a press Discharge. “This specific will be imperative that will these future officers understand how eliminating sexual harassment as well as assault advances our ability to protect the nation.”
Based on feedback through focus groups involving 188 cadets/midshipmen, as well as 107 faculty, as well as staff participants, the report “revealed that will most cadets as well as midshipmen knew how to report as well as obtain support should they experience a sexual assault.”
although while This specific concluded that will the US Military Academy as well as US Naval Academy were in compliance with Pentagon policies that will “govern sexual assault as well as sexual harassment prevention, victim assistance as well as advocacy, investigation, accountability, as well as assessment,” the report determined that will the mismanagement of victim response programs at the Air Force Academy did not meet that will standard.
“Sexual assault prevention as well as response program mismanagement at the US Air Force Academy put This specific out of compliance with Department as well as Air Force victim assistance as well as advocacy policy,” the report said. “Given This specific discrepancy, the Air Force Academy will be in partial compliance overall.”
Allegations late inside the academic year prompted a commander directed investigation at the Air Force Academy which disclosed “significant evidence of mismanagement as well as unprofessionalism that will negatively impacted victim advocacy as well as assistance rendered to numerous cadets,” the assessment stated.
“While the Air Force Academy investigated as well as took steps to correct these problems, greater oversight of response programs as well as personnel will be required at all three Academies,” This specific said.
The DOD report did not detail the specific nature of these problems.
Responding to the report, the Air Force deputy director of public affairs, Capt. Matthew Chism, said in a statement: “As expected as a result of the Academy’s finding as well as reporting misconduct on the part of individuals within its Sexual Assault Prevention as well as Response office, the Academy was found not in compliance in one of the all 5 goals assessed inside the report, the goal of victim assistance as well as advocacy.”
“We are confident that will we have addressed the issues inside the SAPR office at the Academy as well as will continue to scrutinize our efforts as well as remain transparent as we strive to develop a culture of dignity as well as respect at the Academy,” he added.
The report also noted that will compliance with policy does not guarantee “effective programs as well as practices” as well as identified several actions for each academy to better address the issue.
- Provide cadets as well as midshipmen with prevention skills as well as education that will are both relevant to their current circumstances as well as their future roles as officers.
- Enhance preparation of military officers as well as senior enlisted leaders so they may more effectively promote as well as teach about climates of dignity as well as respect.
- Enact an oversight process for the assistance rendered by Sexual Assault Response Coordinators as well as Victim Advocates.
- Operationalize the Department’s sexual harassment definition for the academy environment as well as expand services as well as support for cadets as well as midshipmen who desire to address This specific.
- Establish or enhance a centralized data assessment as well as reporting resource.
“Reducing the number of future sexual assault victims requires brand-new approaches as well as resources above what are currently provided for response programs,” the report said, adding that will service academies are unique environments that will require “programs tailored to their specific circumstances.”
“brand-new initiatives require a sustained effort as well as a long-term view to give such efforts the best chances for success over time,” the report concluded.