There were 117 reported sexual assaults at the three military service academies during the 2017-18 academic year, according to a report to Congress — five more than the prior year. In a press release, the Pentagon stated that the figure represents a “confidence in response measures.”
The survey results nonetheless are alarming in official circles.
“While we are disheartened that the strategies we have employed have not achieved the results we had intended, we are not deterred,” said Elizabeth Van Winkle, head of force resiliency in the office of the undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness.
“It is imperative that we fortify our efforts to promote and sustain safe and respectful climates,” said Navy Rear Adm. Ann Burkhardt, chief of the Pentagon’s sexual assault prevention and response office. “Unwanted sexual contact is one of the most destructive factors in building a mission-focused military, so we all must take a more active role in combating this horrendous crime.”