Sexual Assaults Continue At Military Academies

There is apparently confusion regarding the meaning and nature of sexual assaults at military academies. Some students fear retaliation if they report sexual assaults and others do not understand which options are available to provide them confidentiality. There were 40 reports of sexual assaults between June 1, 2006 to May 31, 2007 at military academies. A reported 20 cadets used a new confidential reporting option that allows the victim to choose to obtain medical, mental health care and other services without becoming involved in the criminal justice process. A new report indicates that half of the U.S. Naval Academy midshipmen understand the difference between the new confidential reporting and another option which allows victims to make an unrestricted report through through the chain of command, duty officers, and law enforcement. The report noted, ‘the perception remains among some personnel that victims hesitate to report being sexually assaulted due to concern that they will experience retaliation by heir command in he form of punishment for collateral misconduct.”

It is 2007, hopefully, the military academies in this day and age can develop a reporting system that protects the victim and places responsibility on the shoulders of the assailant. It is sad that any woman has to fear retaliation for reporting a crime, particularly, at a military academy.