by Pam Zubeck
When USAFA leadership learned that there were issues in the USAFA SAPR [Sexual Assault Prevention and Response] office, a command-directed investigation was initiated. That investigation lasted over a month and involved dozens of interviews. At this time, due to the fact that review of the investigation and related processes are still ongoing, as well as privacy concerns of those involved, we cannot discuss details or findings of the investigation. We can say that attorneys and leadership at USAFA have reviewed the report of investigation and are taking appropriate actions.The Academy has long struggled with dealing with sexual assaults, notably in the 2003 time frame when dozens of victims accused the Academy of punishing them for reporting while letting their attackers graduate.
In addition, as a result of the investigation, some members of the SAPR staff are no longer performing SAPR duties. Taking care of victims is our top priority and we are ensuring we have the right personnel and protocols in place to provide the best care possible. We are confident that there has been no degradation in victim care and support.
The Sexual Assault Prevention and Response office is just one part of the Academy's multi-pronged approach to taking care of victims and combating sexual assault. Sexual assault prevention and victim care are too important to have a single point of failure. We have a comprehensive safety net of helping agencies for victim care that includes medical care, counseling, chaplains, peer support, law enforcement and a special victims' counsel - a legal expert who is with them every step of the way. Leaders up and down the chain of command emphasize prevention through education and a healthy culture and climate.