Colorado

May 11, 2013 1:13 PM by Eric Ross

USAFA aims to stop sexual assaults

Some alarming news came from the Pentagon this week. A newly released report show a rise in military sexual assaults.

This news comes just days after a sexual assault resource officer in the Air Force was arrested and charged with the very crime he's supposed to prevent.

"There's been a lot of trouble going on with military branches including the Air Force," USAFA sexual assault response coordinator Teresa Beasley said. "It's not just happening on military bases or here at the academy. It's happening all around the world."

There's a lot of controversy swirling across the nation following the recent arrest of Air Force Lt. Col. Jeffrey Krusinski. He's accused of assaulting a woman in a parking lot in Virginia.

According to The Pentagon's report, incidents like these are far more common than we hear about. More than 70 members of the military on average are sexually assaulted each day.

Beasley has the task of bringing those numbers down while playing an intricate role in preventing this type of violent behavior.

"We do a lot of training here with the cadets," she said. "It's developmental in nature based on their class year and it's pretty comprehensive. Anyone who works with or is involved with a cadet is trained. We are being very proactive and aggressive in our outreach and education training."

The USAFA is also very responsive in helping victims seek assistance following a sexual assault. Through a partnership with Memorial Hospital, sexual assault kits are administered and can be tested to locate an attacker. That evidence can also be useful when it comes time for court.

Despite these available resources, sexual assaults remain one of the most under-reported crimes in America.

"It affects a person in a way that it's such a traumatic event," Beasley said. "It can affect them the rest of their lives if they don't seek help. Anyone who walks into our office means a victory for me because we are able to help them. We have great counseling resources and want them to be able to come in and know we have their back."

For more information on the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response program, visit http://www.usafa.af.mil/units/sapr/

 

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