Sexual Assault Reporting at Military Academies Rises

One defense official said the rise in reports of assaults was due to improved reporting processes.

Three military academies saw the number of reports of sexual assault increase more than 50 percent in the 2014-2015 school year.

There were 91 reported sexual assaults over the last school year at the U.S. Naval Academy in Maryland, the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, and the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado, according to CBS News. That number is up from just 59 during the 2013-2014 school year.

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A rise in reports of sexual assaults has been seen at colleges across the country as reporting processes simplify and awareness of the programs grows. One senior defense official offered improved reporting practices as an explanation for the rise.

The number of sexual harassment complaints also rose 40 percent, to a total of 28 in the last school year. Defense officials said they have emphasized the available resources for reporting sexual harassment this year because they have learned that sexual harassment often leads to sexual assault.

An anonymous survey of military academy students during the 2013-14 school year revealed that fewer students said they had experienced unwanted sexual contact than in previous years, although the survey was not conducted in 2014-2015.

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