Dana Born on Preventing Sexual Assault


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As part of our American Conversation series, retired brigadier general in the United States Air Force and current Harvard Kennedy School of Government lecturer Dana Born participated in a discussion on 21st Century Leadership with Stanley McChrystal and NYPD Commissioner William Bratton, moderated by David Gergen. You can watch full video of the event here.

In the clip above, Gergen asked Born about sexual assaults in the Air Force, a prominent issue when she came to the Academy. “How do you change the culture?” he asked.

Born responded in part:

Boy, top down, bottom up, sideways. And it takes a long time. One of the very first things that became evident, is a lot of people don’t know, I mean, I’m a survivor, a victim myself. One out four women has been assaulted before they get to the Academy. One out of eight, used to be one of ten, then one out of nine, now it’s one out of eight males have been assaulted before they even get to a service academy, probably campuses across the U.S. My assault was not at the academy, it was actually at a campus in Colorado during a track meet. And the individual was arrested ultimately and put behind bars and wanted for a lot more serious things then what happened to me. I personally felt responsible and had to keep my emotions in check because I was so passionate about airmen not disrespecting airmen. And about people being prepared to prevent assault, and if it is going to happen, how do you try to hold perpetrators accountable?