WASHINGTON, DC– Earlier today, U.S. Department of Defense Inspector General Joseph Schmitz met with three senators, including Senator Susan Collins, to discuss the findings of a recent survey of U.S. Air Force female cadets with regard to how many report to have been sexually assaulted or raped during their time at the Air Force Academy.
Senator Collins, who chairs the Governmental Affairs Committee, requested the survey and comprehensive report earlier this year following numerous report of sexual abuse of female cadets in the class of 2003 by male cadets. The survey indicates that 24.2 percent of female cadets were victims of a sexual assault or attempted sexual assault, while nearly half of that group, or 11.7 percent of those cadets, said they were victims of rape or attempted rape.
Following her meeting today with the Air Force Inspector General, Senator Collins released this statement:
“I am shocked and saddened by the results of this survey.
“I knew that the number of female cadets who report to have been victims of sexual assault was likely to be far higher than the number of assaults that were actually reported to Air Force Academy leadership. That is why I requested that this independent study and survey be done. But the number of actual cases uncovered in this initial survey is astounding.
“This is clear evidence that there is an immediate need for a comprehensive report to uncover why the culture at the Air Force Academy allows this type of inexcusable behavior to continue.
“Our female cadets are a valued asset to our armed forces, so we must ensure that violent acts against them are stopped.”
The survey will be officially released within the next few days and a more comprehensive report into the root causes and an assessment of accountability, which was also requested by Senator Collins, will be released later this month.