The U.S. Air Force Academy may produce fine aviators for our nation’s defense, but the school came up short in the sexual assault prevention and response program.
The Department of Defense’s annual assessment of service academies has found that the U.S. Air Force Academy mismanaged this program. The report for the 2017 academic year also stated that the service academy failed to comply with the military’s victim assistance and advocacy policy.
Following the report issuance, the school’s sexual assault response coordinator was dismissed.
The overall reporting of sexual assaults at the three Department of Defense service academies – the U.S. Military Academy and the U.S. Naval Academy, along with the U.S. Air Force Academy – increased to 112 reports from the prior year’s 86, a significant increase of 30%. The DOD reported that most of that increase occurred at the U.S. Military Academy following a change in reporting policy and the decision to relocate its victim assistance office.
In a press release, Robert Wilkie, Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, stated the Department’s commitment to making the Academies safe, and the importance of future officers’ understanding how “eliminating sexual harassment and assault advances our ability to protect the nation.”
Investigation Disclosed Evidence of Mismanagement
An investigation at the U.S. Air Force Academy revealed significant evidence of unprofessionalism and mismanagement that negatively impacted victim assistance to a number of cadets. The Academy took steps to correct these unspecified problems, but the DOD report found that greater oversight of response programs and personnel is required at all three Academies.
The DOD report identified actions for each Academy to take to address this issue, including:
- Providing cadets and midshipmen with education and prevention skills relevant to their current circumstances as well as their future roles as officers,
- Enacting an oversight process for the assistance rendered by Victim Advocates and Sexual Assault Response Coordinators
- Establishing a centralize data assessment and reporting resource.
Because of the severity of the report’s findings, the DOD Inspector General has launched an investigation of the U.A. Air Force Academy’s sexual assault prevention and response program. The review will include the mental health support and services that the Academy provides to cadet sexual assault victims and how well Academy leadership supports those cadets.
Let Us Know If You Have Been a Victim of Sexual Assault
If you or a family member has experienced sexual assault or sexual harassment of any kind or has been injured in an accident or by any other type of personal injury, or needs help with any employment discrimination or family law issue, please contact the Law Offices of Paul S. Foreman, P.C. immediately. We have the right experience to get the optimal results for your case. Please call us for a free consultation. Attorney Paul S. Foreman, personal injury attorney in Essex, will fight to secure justice for you and your family. You can reach us at 973-315-3232 or contact us via the website.