Tuesday, February 19, 2008

GAO: Sex assaults at West Point may be underreported

GAO: Sex assaults at West Point may be underreported

By Brendan McGarry - Staff writer
Posted : Tuesday Feb 19, 2008 20:12:18 EST

The U.S. Military Academy has taken steps to prevent sexual assault on campus, but student surveys indicate such incidents may be vastly underreported, according to a new government report.

West Point reported 45 sexual assaults from 2003 through 2006, according to a Government Accountability Office report released Tuesday.

That was the same as the Air Force Academy near Colorado Springs, Colo., and compares to 55 at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. Taken together, the Defense Department academies reported 145 sexual assaults during the four-year period, according to the GAO report.

The Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn., part of the Department of Homeland Security, recorded 12 sexual assaults during the same period, according the GAO report.

However, anonymous surveys administered in 2006 indicate about 200 female students and 100 male students at the Defense Department academies may have experienced “unwanted sexual contact” in 2005 alone, according to the GAO.
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