Senator opens up about sexual assault

Sen. Martha McSally told lawmakers she was raped by one of her superiors while in the Air Force and explained why she suffered in silence. ABC News' Serena Marshall reports.
2:18 | 03/07/19

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Transcript for Senator opens up about sexual assault
We turn out to new details about a powerful moment on Capitol Hill senator mark the mix Allan revealing to the world for personal story of sexual assault in the military. Arizona Republican who was the first female fighter pilot in combat says she was raped by a superior officer and suffered in silence for years. ABC's Serena Marshall has more on why Rick Sally is coming forward now Serena good morning very powerful testimony. Yes today Kenneth good morning to you and that powerful deeply personal moment on Capitol Hill by the retired air force colonel has sexual assault in the military continued to rise. And emotional testimony a moment of tree I am also a military sexual assault the driver. But unlike so many brave survivors. I didn't report being sexually assault in one case I was preyed upon and then raped by a superior officer. Martha makes Sally the freshman senator from Arizona the 26 year military veteran. The first female fighter pilots to fly in combat testifying before a senate committee explaining why she stayed silent for so long. And that she was horrified at how her attempts to report the assault were handled. I almost separated from air force at eighteen years. Or my despair. Like many victims. I felt the system is reaping Meola over. And an interview with CBS explaining this system must be changed saying. If you have a rape this to his serving in uniform you don't deal with it by keeping a woman out of their unit. Because that's predator is going to go assaults someone else and a statement the air force says they are appalled and deeply sorry for what senator makes Sally experienced and they are steadfast in their commitment to eliminating his reprehensible behavior and breach of trust in our ranks. But sexual assault in the military is on the rise 2017. Seeing a record high. With nearly 7000 reported sexual assaults a 10% increase over the previous year. Makes Sally is bold revelation not long after Iowa senator Johnny Ernst and he tells her own rape while in college. When asked what action he plans to take the senate majority leader Mitch McConnell say he's open to any policy prescriptions the senators pressed forward. Today kept so courageous and powerful hearing senator ms. Sally say she fell at the system was briefing her all over and Serena Marshall thank you so much.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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