Report shows a 58.5 % increase in reported sexual assaults at service academies, West Point found “not in compliance” with DOD sexual assault prevention policy.

San Mateo, CA - Congresswoman Speier (D-San Francisco/San Mateo) today issued a statement on the Department of Defense (DOD) annual “Report on Sexual Harassment and Violence at the Military Service Academies” released yesterday.  The report reveals a 58.5% increase from the last academic year, and further shows that the United States Military Academy (USMA) at West Point was found to be “not in compliance” with the DOD’s sexual assault prevention policy.

“Despite statements coming out of the Pentagon, the reality and their own reports show that this problem is getting worse, not better,” said Speier.  “An increase of nearly 60% in reported sexual assaults at the academies is shocking, and the fact that West Point isn’t even complying with the modest DOD policies to prevent sexual assault and rape is deeply troubling.  If DOD is serious about their ‘zero tolerance’ policy, leadership at West Point should be relieved of their posts and the underperforming academies should be put on notice immediately.  That is what I am calling for.” 

“The stacks of reports issued by DOD all point to the fact that there are fundamental flaws in the procedures and policies that dictate how sexual assaults are handled,” said Speier.  

In 2010, the DOD conducted a survey of active duty members which revealed that only a small percentage of the more than 19,000 incidents of rapes and sexual assaults involving service members were actually reported.  Only 13.5% of sexual assaults and rapes are ever reported.

Last month, Speier introduced the Sexual Assault Training Oversight and Prevention Act—the STOP Act, H.R. 3435, which would take the reporting, oversight, investigation, and victim care of sexual assaults out of the hands of the military’s normal chain of command and place jurisdiction in the newly created, autonomous Sexual Assault Oversight and Response Office comprised of civilian and military experts.  She is also honorary chair of Protect Our Defenders.