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One-Fifth of Citadel Women Have Been Sexually Assaulted

According to an internal investigative survey, the Citadel found that nearly 20 percent of its current female cadets reported being sexually assaulted since enrolling in the military college. Citadel President Lt. General John Rosa, a 1973 graduate of the Citadel, requested that the school conduct the survey last spring in order to improve the campus climate. According to The State, Rosa plans to create a Values and Respect program based on the results of the survey that will educate and train cadets about sexual assault, alcohol abuse, and racism. Responding to those who might be surprised that the Citadel would publicize negative information about the institution, Rosa says, “My reason is simple: In order for us to address these issues, we must discuss them openly,” the Associated Press reports.

All of the 118 women and about 530 of the 1,770 men enrolled in the school last year were asked to fill out the survey; 114 women and 487 men responded. Among the women, 27 incidents of sexual assault were found, but only 10 were reported to authorities; half of the female cadets who did not come forward about their abuse reported fear of ostracism, harassment, or ridicule. Twenty-five of the 27 offenders were fellow cadets, and most of the reported assaults occurred on campus. To better assess daily campus climate, the survey also asked how many women experienced sexual harassment, including inappropriate sexual stories, jokes, and remarks; 68 percent of women reported this type of behavior.

There were 23 incidents of sexual assault among the surveyed men, which suggests that about four percent of male cadets at the formerly all-male school experience sexual assault.

Sources:

Associated Press 8/23/2006; The State 8/25/2006