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Why this recognition?

Posted 3/27/2012   Updated 3/27/2012 Email story   Print story


by Andrea Mckie
Incoming Sexual Assault Response Coordinator

3/27/2012 - HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass. -- April is recognized as Sexual Assault Awareness Month and, although the months may change, the message remains the same, "Hurts one, affects all."
People seldom stand still to truly understand the impact sexual violence has on servicemembers. This is the month to announce the intent to move toward its elimination within the ranks, in the Air Force, in the military.

In the Wing Commander's "Guide on Sexual Assault Prevention and Response," these words are written:

"Eliminating sexual violence is everyone's responsibility, but ultimately your words and actions, or lack thereof, set the deciding tone."

The 2010 Gallup Survey of Air Force active duty military reported that more than 17,000 men and women have experienced sexual assault during their service.

Sexual assault is a national problem and bringing awareness also brings the hope to every victim and to every survivor that the nation will intervene on their behalf.

In the month of April, throughout the Air Force, events will be taking place to bring each community together in a unified voice that simply says, "Not in my Air Force, and not without my permission."

The National Guard Sexual Assault Response Center team will be sponsoring a bowling event at Hanscom Lanes starting 3 p.m. on April 5. Other awareness activities will be announced each week for those interested in participating.

The Air Force prides itself on the core values, and sexual violence is in direct opposition to those treasured values.

There is only thirty days in the month of April, but the message of this month is to be heard each and every month until the word of prevention is understood. Everyone has a right to say no to sexual violence, and everyone has the means to prevent it.

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