AF Academy superintendent testifies on SAPR

  • Published
  • Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs
The results of the 2016 Service Academy Gender Relations Survey and Sexual Assault and Violence Report indicate the U.S. Air Force Academy is moving in the right direction but still has work to do in its combat against sexual assault, according to the Academy’s superintendent.

On May 2, Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson joined her fellow military service academy superintendents as they testified on the academies’ sexual assault prevention and response programs before the House’s Military Personnel Subcommittee on Capitol Hill.

According to the SAGR, estimates indicate the number of USAFA cadets experiencing unwanted sexual contact has increased from 126 in 2014 to 150 in 2016. However, both estimates are less than the 162 cadets estimated in 2012.

Still, Johnson said one sexual assault is too many.

“We expect more of ourselves and rightfully so, because more is expected of our graduates when they leave our campus and operate in increasingly complex…and unpredictable battlespaces,” Johnson said. “We must hold ourselves to a higher standard. Our bottom line is that we cannot tolerate any instance of sexual harassment or sexual assault.”

USAFA used the Military Service Academy Defense Equal Opportunity Climate Survey to help understand cadets’ attitudes toward reporting, prevention and leaderships’ approach to addressing these crimes.

“The Air Force Academy’s sexual assault prevention strategy is dedicated to fostering a climate of dignity and respect,” Johnson said. “Our current and future initiatives reflect a paradigm shift in training, focusing more on peer-to-peer approaches … and implementing evidence-based programs that use meaningful metrics to measure impact over time. This focus is transitioning from quantity to quality and from response to prevention.”

Care is a fundamental priority, and USAFA is dedicated to ensuring the emotional and physical well-being of sexual assault survivors, regardless of when or where the sexual misconduct took place.

“We want all victims to get the help and care they need so that they’re able to continue on the selfless, ambitious paths that brought them to our academy, and reach their fullest potential as the leaders of character in our Air Force,” Johnson said. “We want reporting to go up, prevalence to go down, and ultimately for these incidents to go to zero. We have work to do – but based on the initiatives we have begun, we believe we are moving in the right direction.”