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Cody: Airmen must stand up to sexual assault

Apr. 29, 2014 - 06:00AM   |  
Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force James Cody urges airmen to 'fully commit to eradicating the crime of sexual assault from the ranks.'
Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force James Cody urges airmen to 'fully commit to eradicating the crime of sexual assault from the ranks.' (Samuel King Jr./Air Force)
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Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force James Cody on Monday urged airmen to take a stand against sexual assault.

“We must fully commit to eradicating the crime of sexual assault from the ranks,” Cody said in his monthly Roll Call message. “We must have the courage to admit sexual assault is happening and is a problem, the courage to act when a fellow airman is in danger, and the courage to speak up when we hear or see something that just isn’t right. We know what’s right, and what’s not.”

Cody reminded airmen that April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and said “sexual assault is a serious issue [that] continues to destroy the lives of our fellow airmen and weaken our force.”

The courage and commitment airmen display when facing an enemy while under fire are the same traits airmen must use when fighting sexual assault, Cody said.

Military service members filed more than 5,000 reports of sexual assault in fiscal 2013, a roughly 50 percent increase over the 3,374 reports filed the previous year, according to an Associated Press report. Defense Department officials believe the increase may show that victims are more willing to come forward and report assaults against them, AP said.

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