by Famous Seamus | AuxBeacon News Contributor
This month a recent Pentagon report has been circulating that shows sexual harassment at U.S. military academies rose by nearly 50% compared with last year’s survey.
More than half of the anonymously reported cases involved the heavy use of alcohol. Some Civil Air Patrol parents and their cadets have expressed concerns regarding alcohol in Civil Air Patrol senior member imagery and conferences.
Last year’s report had only a small rise from 112 to 117 cases. In contrast, this year more than 700 students enrolled at the nation’s service academies reported unwanted sexual contact. Of those many hundreds, however, only 92 were officially reported through the chain of command.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) concluded that the wide difference between reported and unreported cases was “a clear sign” that sexually assaulted service members still do not “feel confident in the military’s ability to adjudicate and prosecute these crimes without retaliation.” She is a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
“There is a cultural rot,” said California representative Jackie Speier, who chairs the House subcommittee on military personnel. “It’s not just a few bad apples.”
“I think some heads have to roll,” said Speier. “If all of a sudden, these cadets are going to be kicked out and their families are going to be expected to pay $100,000 in tuition, maybe behavior will change.”
It was stunning to find that 50% of the 3,200 women enrolled reported experiencing sexual harassment, and nearly half of female victims stated that their attack could have been stopped by a bystander.
A reader reminds us that “Detailed information about alcohol use, which has long been tied to sexual assaults, is included in the survey for the first time. And it found that nearly a third of male students and 15 percent of females said they drink heavily, meaning that on a typical day they would have five or more drinks. In addition, a quarter of the women and 28 percent of the men said that at least once in the past year they had drank so much that they couldn’t remember events from the night before.”