More News of Sexual Assault in the Military

| Wed Aug. 23, 2006 8:09 PM EDT

On the heels of the revelation that at least 80 military recruiters have been disciplined for sexual misconduct comes a new survey of students at The Citadel. It shows almost 20 percent of female cadets reported having been sexually assaulted at the military college.

Of the 27 sexual assaults against women at The Citadel mentioned in the survey, 17 were never reported to authorities. About half of the women who did not report assaults said they feared ostracism, harassment or ridicule if they did, the survey found.
A survey of the U.S. military academies released last year found that more than 50 percent of female respondents and 11 percent of male respondents experienced some type of sexual harassment since enrolling. That survey also found 64 incidents of sexual assault among the more than 1,900 females at the service academies.

Looks like it probably wasn't such a great idea for the Department of Defense to scrap its plans to create an Office of Victim Advocate. The special office was proposed in March after the DOD's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) Office reported 2,374 alleged assaults during 2005, up from 1,700 alleged assaults in 2004-- an increase of almost 40%.

The Citadel recently instituted a Respect and Values Program "to educate cadets on such topics as sexual harassment, alcohol abuse, the honor code and racism." Let's hope it helps.

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