Thursday, May 16, 2013

Former Sexual Assault Prevention Chief Charged for Committing Battery

If the former chief of the U.S. Air Force branch against sexual assault can molest women, who can't? This is a question we must ask in light of the recent arrest of Lt. Col. Jeff Krusinski, charged with sexual battery after groping a woman in a parking lot on Sunday, May 5. Krusinski is reported to have been under the influence of alcohol, but it is a mistake to accept intoxication as an excuse or accept the incident as a mere drunken mishap.

Krusinski has been removed from his position as the head of the U.S. Air Force branch that deals with sexual assault incidents therein. Evidently, his job assisting survivors of sexual assault was not enough to impress upon him the enormity of the issue. According to RAINN, about one in six American women experience sexual assault in their lifetime – and while committing sexual abuse in any form is inexcusable, reports of sexual abuse committed by those in supposed opposition to sexual assault are nothing short of a travesty.

Sexual assault in the U.S. military is not a new issue by any means – but for both men and women, its prevalence has steadily been rising in recent years. In 2011, Newsweek reported that women in the military are now “more likely to be assaulted by a fellow soldier than killed in combat,” a statistic that might startle even the staunchest advocates of sexual assault prevention.

Ideally, Krusinski's arrest would shed light on the frequency of unreported incidents of sexual assault in the military, and – of the few reported cases – how few perpetrators of assault are actually facing consequences for their unwarranted sexual crimes. Will the Air Force try to sweep yet another sexual assault case under the rug? Only time will tell.

Image: Arlington County Police Department/Associated Press

Kai Niezgoda, NOW Intern

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