Reports of sexual assault shot up 64% in the 2009-10 academic year at the US’ three military academies, the Defense Department announced yesterday, but that might not be a bad thing. A total of 41 assaults involving students were reported to authorities at West Point, the Naval Academy and the Air Force Academy, up from 25 the previous year, the AP reports.
But since sexual assault is “one of the nation’s most underreported crimes,” the number might simply indicate more victims coming forward, the director of the Defense Department’s Sexual Assault Prevention program said. Surveys indicate that less than 10% of unwanted sexual contact is actually reported to authorities. The Air Force Academy, for example, jumped from eight reports to 20, but that may be because students trusted the Academy’s sexual assault response coordinator, who scored well in the survey.