Stopping Sexual Assaults

The Air Force is “making good progress” on its efforts to eliminate sexual assault, but that is not good enough, Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said. Her conclusions are based on her discussions with commanders, Sexual Assault Response Coordinators, and airmen throughout the force, she said during a July 30 Pentagon briefing. Reporting of assaults is up, which James considered a sign that victims are feeling more comfortable in coming forward to report what happened to them. “I’m also hearing from the field that they believe the commanders are on top of this, that they are taking it seriously. This is a serious matter across our Air Force and it is viewed as such,” she said. She also heard that the training has been improved and after receiving some of the training, “I thought it was terrific.” But James said, “progress is, of course, not good enough.” The problem requires “persistent focus, persistent leadership, and persistence action for pretty much forever,” and a rededication to Air Force core values of “integrity, service before self, and excellence.” (James/Welsh transcript)