It’s no secret that sexual assault in the military is a problem. In an arena that prides secrecy and cultivates a boys’ club atmosphere, unfortunately those assaults often go unreported.
According to CNN, a report published by the Pentagon has shown that reports of sexual assault at military academies have increased more than 27 percent during the 2018-2019 school year. The report detailed 149 accusations, with 130 of them being leveled at active-duty cadets and midshipmen. The Pentagon has stated that this is a “positive” thing as it shows more people are reporting these incidents.
Positive isn’t the word I would use. I mean, yeah it’s good that victims feel more comfortable coming forward but there is still a sexual assault problem in the military. Reports went up 27 percent, sure, but how many incidents have occurred that weren’t reported? People interviewed in the Pentagon’s report have confirmed that a “boys’ club” mentality still runs rampant in military culture. There’s a fear that reporting instances of assault will result in being shunned by their peers and being disciplined by their superiors, with promotions and career advancement being limited.
149 people being sexually assaulted is no small number. Factored in with the amount of incidents we don’t know about, this report should not be seen as a “positive.” Work needs to be done. If an organization is designed around honor and discipline then it shouldn’t be unreasonable to expect its members to behave honorably.