Better Support for Sexual Harassment Complaints Needed

The DoD annual Report on Sexual Harassment and Violence in the Military Service Academies, 2015-2016 was released mid-March. 

There has been progress in supporting cadets and midshipmen who report sexual assault and sexual harassment. However, there was an increase in unwanted sexual contact in all three academies compared to rates last measured in 2014. This year the Pentagon used a new measure for sexual harassment to obtain better standardized answers to the survey questions.

Fewer cadets and midshipmen—both men and women—chose to make sexual harassment complaints this year than last. This needs further research.

These statistics appear to be lower than rates reported by civilian colleges and universities in 2015. That is not good news. The civilian rates are being addressed at a national level. The Pentagon recommends that the service academies review their sexual assault and sexual harassment programs and work with experts to use better evidence-based prevention initiatives. The entire report is available online at

By Kate O’Hare-Palmer, Chair of Women Veterans

Source: The VVA Veteran


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