Wed Dec 28, 2011 3:20AM GMT
A report by the US Department of Defense says the number of sexual assaults at the key American military academies have significantly risen for a second consecutive year.
According to the “Annual Report on Sexual Harassment and Violence at Military Service Academies” released by the Pentagon on Tuesday, a total of 65 sexual assault cases at major US military schools were reported during the 2010-11 academic year, which shows an almost 60 percent rise compared to the previous year.
During 2009-2010, a total of 41 incidents of sexual attacks involving military officers and trainees had been reported.
The sharp hike comes despite efforts by the US Army, Navy, and Air Force academies to prevent the sexual violence and raise awareness of the problem.
“The Department does not have the ability to conclusively identify the reasons for this increase in reporting behavior,” the report noted.
The Pentagon, however, added that the rising number is possibly due to the recent initiatives taken by the academies to encourage victims to notify authorities of the cases of sexual assault.
“When service members report sexual assaults, the Department is better positioned to provide resources to victims and hold those who commit sexual assault accountable, as appropriate,” the report pointed out.
The report also declared a new policy according to which a cadet who lodges a complaint of sexual assault is allowed to move somewhere else.