Military Secretaries, Higher Ed Schools to Partner on Sexual Assault Summit

Secretaries from the Army, Navy and Air Force will partner with higher education institutions to conduct a summit on campus and service sexual assault, inviting leaders and experts from both government and higher learning.

The summit will occur in April at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis Maryland, according to the Military Times.

The secretaries will encourage discussion among leaders and experts who are working to address this issue.

“The purpose of the conference is to advance the national dialogue at the college and university level regarding the scourge of sexual harassment and assault,” according to a Navy news release. “Evidence-based best practices will be shared on prevention and response efforts, as well as the benefits of increased partnerships and collaboration.”

Sexual assaults that occur in the military and on college campuses have been under scrutiny in recent years. Reports of sexual assault in the armed forces increased by almost 10 percent between the 2016 and 2017 fiscal years.

Fourteen percent of female soldiers and 2 percent of male service members have been assaulted, according to the RAND Military Workplace Study. During the 2016 and 2017 fiscal years, sexual assault reports at the U.S. Military, Naval and Air Force academies increased from 86 to 112.

On college campuses, around 23 percent of women and more than 5 percent of men pursuing their undergraduate degrees experienced sexual assault, according to the Association of American Universities data.

The data also shows that male college students are 78 percent more likely to experience sexual assault than young adult males who have not attended college, while female college students are 20 percent less likely than their young adult counterparts who have not attended college.

“Working together, the service secretaries believe the gathered leaders can develop and share strategies that will make a significant impact on increasing awareness, improving education, and providing care for victims,” the release said.

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