Commentary

May 9, 2014

Sexual Assault awareness doesn’t end in April

Col. Jeannie M. Leavitt
Seymour-Johnson AFB, N.C.

As you know, April was Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

the month is over, our focus on this issue is not. It’s unfortunate we have to place so much attention on such a despicable crime, but sadly sexual assault is a real problem in our military. It’s a cancer forced upon us almost entirely by a few predators hiding in plain sight. And it’s incredibly destructive.

As Airmen, we hold ourselves to a higher standard. Our uniform stands for something. It represents a commitment to a sacred cause: a commitment to our nation, our families and one another. Every day we put on the uniform we must earn the right to wear it. Our mission success depends on a culture of dignity, respect and trust. Sexual assault is completely counter to our core values – it shatters trust, weakens our force and threatens our mission. We must work together to eradicate it.

To combat sexual assault, it’s important that we understand how offenders operate and what each of us can do to stop them.
Offenders count on us doubting the numbers, the victims’ accounts, and their own intent. They rely on victims not reporting. They depend on us missing the signs or ignoring the facts so they can continue to operate with impunity.

It is up to us to prove offenders wrong. We must develop an environment where victims know they will not be blamed for crimes committed against them. Where they know they will be supported by their peers and their leadership. Where they know they can come forward and report an assault and the offender can be held accountable. In a court martial case last year, the defendant was found guilty of rape under Article 120 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice – he was sentenced to eight years in prison and a dishonorable discharge.

As always, we must remember that not everyone who is accused is guilty. We have a legal court system to help determine guilt or innocence. All defendants are considered innocent until proven guilty. Our justice system is the foundation of the rights and freedoms we enjoy.

Sexual assault is a vile crime against the victim and against society. I challenge each of you to help prevent it by aggressively defending and enforcing our culture of dignity and respect. Your active engagement is critical. If there are any among us who refuse to live by the core values, or refuse to treat others with dignity and respect, those individuals should remove themselves from our Air Force. We are warriors and we have a no fail mission to defend our nation and our precious freedom. We must demand the highest standards to ensure we remain the greatest Air Force in the world.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

News Briefs July 18, 2014

Express fuel pumps to shut down July 21 & 22 The AAFES Express gasoline station will undergo vapor testing next week, which requires the pumps to be turned off to complete the process.†The fuel pumps will be shut down 8-11 a.m., July 21, and 7 a.m.-1 p.m., July 22. For more information, call (661) 258-1078,...
 
 

Exchange celebrates 119 years with 5 percent MILITARY STAR card discount

July 25, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service marks a historic milestone, celebrating 119 years of serving Soldiers, Airmen and their families. July 25, 1895, General Order No. 46 established the exchange on military installations, directing post commanders to set up an exchange at every post. Since then, the Exchange has supported U.S. troops...
 
 

Focus on deliberate self-development

I am an American Airman. I am a warrior. I have answered my nation’s call. These words should resonate with each of us who have the honor and privilege of wearing the uniform. Each time I recite our creed, I feel a sense of pride. I hope every Airman reading this shares my sentiment. Each...
 

 
Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber

Edwards says goodbye to Weavers

Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber Outgoing commander of the 412th Maintenance Group, Col. Robby Weaver (right) receives his retirement pin from his wife Susan during Weaverís retirement ceremony July 10. Weaver and his wif...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber

Got a ticket? What now?

Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber 412th Security Forces Squadron defenders pull over a vehicle for speeding. Many drivers have experienced the sinking feeling that accompanies the flashing lights and siren of a police vehic...
 
 

Annual duck blind drawing set for Aug. 9

Waterfowl hunters can participate in the annual duck blind drawing scheduled for Aug. 9 at the Rod and Gun Activity, Bldg. 210. Base hunting permits may be submitted to drawing officials from 9 a.m. until the actual drawing begins, which will be at approximately 10 a.m. Duck blind reservations are required for all base affiliated...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>