USAFA not claiming victory over sexual assault yet

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Lt. Gen. Johnson: Committed to supporting victims. - COURTESY U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY
  • Courtesy U.S. Air Force Academy
  • Lt. Gen. Johnson: Committed to supporting victims.
The Air Force Academy led the way among its peer academies for sexual assault reports in the 2013-14 academy year, according to a Department of Defense report released today.

The report says the academy received 27 reports, which was 18 fewer than the previous academic year, but more than the other academies. The Naval Academy received 23 sexual assault reports, eight more than the previous year, and the Military Academy received 11, one more than the previous year.

In a prepared statement, Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson, the academy's first female superintendent, said:
Each sexual assault case is a tragedy. I, along with every member of the USAFA faculty and staff, remain committed to providing an environment that cares and supports victims, a climate that eliminates sexual assault or harassment of any kind, and an approach that employs every tool available, including the Uniform Code of Military Justice, to hold perpetrators accountable. These efforts are led by me and supported by our amazing Sexual Assault Response Coordinators, Victim Advocates, volunteer Victim Advocates, Special Victims Counsel and highly qualified medical experts. While the numbers released in this report show progress, we still have a lot of work ahead of us.  
As for sexual harassment, the Naval Academy received 15 reports, the Military Academy, 1, and the Air Force Academy, 4.

Key findings:

— The Air Force Academy saw unwanted sexual contact decline from 11.2 percent to 9.7 percent. Sexual harassment of women went up, from 44 percent to 48 percent. The academy received 27 sexual assault reports — 13 unrestricted and 14 restricted reports. This represents a decrease of 18 reports from the previous academy year, the report said. An unrestricted report is provided to command and/or law enforcement for investigation, while a restricted report allows victims to confidentially access medical care and advocacy services without triggering an investigation. 

— 48% of all academies' women and 10 percent of men indicated perceiving some form of sexual harassment in academic program year 2013-2014.3 Overall, the rates of sexual harassment for academy women decreased from 51 percent in 2012.

— 8.2% of all academies' women and 1.1 percent of Academy men experienced unwanted sexual contact in academic program year 2013-2014.6 This is a decrease from academic program year 2012-2013 in which 12.4% of Academy women and 2 percent of Academy men experienced unwanted sexual contact.

— During academic program year 2013-2014, the academies received 20 complaints of sexual harassment, comprised of 1 formal complaint and 19 informal complaints. The United States Military Academy received 1 formal complaint, the Naval Academy received 15 informal complaints, and the Air Force Academy received 4 informal complaints. This represents an overall increase in reporting of sexual harassment complaints from academic program year 2012-2013, during which the Academies received 11 informal complaints. (According to the report, an informal complaint is an allegation of unlawful discrimination or sexual harassment, made either orally or in writing that is not submitted as a formal complaint. A formal complaint is an allegation of unlawful discrimination or sexual harassment that is submitted in writing to the authority designated for receipt of such complaints.)

— The three service academies received a total of 61 sexual assault reports, nine fewer than the previous academic year. However, unrestricted reports — those that are fully investigated — increased from 29 the previous year to 36 in the 2013-14 year, which the report said means "more victims at the Military Service Academies chose to participate in the military justice process, suggesting greater confidence in the system."

The full Sexual Assault Prevention and Response report is found at this link.




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