Sexual Assaults Cases at US Military Academies on the Rise After Return to In-Person Learning

By Victor Omondi


   According to numerous US officials acquainted with the records, reported sexual assaults at US military academies spiked during the 2020-21 school year as students returned to in-person classes after the coronavirus outbreak.

Despite an influx of new sexual assault prevention and treatment programs, the uptick follows what officials say is an upward trend at the academies.

It’s more difficult to compare totals over the last three years. During the pandemic-shortened 2019-20 school year, when in-person classes were canceled and students were returned home in the spring to complete the semester online, the number of reports plummeted at all of the academies.

Despite the fact that there were fewer reports that year than the year before, one senior defense official claimed that if students had not left early, the total would have undoubtedly increased. Furthermore, the number of reported assaults in 2020-21 was higher than in the previous school year before the epidemic, 2018-19.

The spike in instances was attributed to increases at the Air Force Academy and the United States Military Academy at West Point, officials said.

They went on to state that 131 attacks by cadets or midshipmen were reported in 2020-21, compared to 88 the previous year and 122 the year before. Because the reports have not yet been made public, officials shared them on the condition of anonymity.

Cadets at the Air Force Academy in Colorado reported 52 assaults, compared to 46 at West Point in New York and 33 at the United States Naval Academy in Maryland, according to officials.

Army Secretary Christine Wormuth met with academy administrators, staff members, and cadets earlier this month during a visit to West Point to discuss the sexual assault epidemic. She said they discussed the “Trust Program,” which is conducted by cadets and teaches them how to deal with sexual assault and harassment and urge intervention when they witness it.

“West Point is working hard to increase cadets’ trust in their reporting system while at the same time preventing events from happening in the first place,” Wormuth said, adding that the institution has expanded resources for victims “to ensure the academy handles each case with care.”


About Carma Henry 20175 Articles
Carma Lynn Henry Westside Gazette Newspaper 545 N.W. 7th Terrace, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33311 Office: (954) 525-1489 Fax: (954) 525-1861

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