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Reports of Sexual Assault Have Nearly Doubled at West Point

Sexual assault reports have nearly doubled at the United States Military Academy Preparatory School in West Point, New York, according to a report released Wednesday by the Department of Defense.

There were 50 cases of sexual assault reported in the 2016–17 school, a 92 percent increase over the 2015–16 school year, which saw 26 reported cases.

Other military academies also saw a jump in sexual assault reports, though not as drastic. The Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, experienced a slight increase from 28 to 29 cases reported, while the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, saw an increase from 32 to 33 cases reported. There are 12,000 students enrolled between all three academies.

In an interview with the Associated Press, Lieutenant General Robert Caslen, a superintendent at West Point, said that he was "very encouraged by the reporting" and was prepared to "take the criticism."

Both the Department of Defense and West Point attributed the increase in reports to institutional efforts made to encourage victims to come forward, the Associated Press reports.