Dempsey: Armed forces – committed to eliminating sexual assault

Friday, June 28, 2013

Senior Defense Department civilian and military leaders are deeply committed to making the necessary changes to prevent sexual assault and to act quickly and appropriately when it does occur, Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, wrote in a blog entry issued May 8.

Dempsey’s blog reads as follows:

"Trust is the very foundation of our profession. I see it first-hand during my visits to Afghanistan and around the world. You trust in your nation, in your leaders, and in each other, and you willingly put yourself in harmʼs way because of those bonds of trust.

"Thatʼs one of the reasons Iʼm so committed to eliminating sexual assault. It breaks that trust.

"The Joint Chiefs and leaders across the DoD are deeply invested in making the institutional changes necessary to prevent sexual assault and to respond appropriately when it occurs.

"Weʼre doubling down on our efforts toward prevention, victim support, investigations, and accountability – while preserving the rights of those accused.

"We will not stop working to eliminate sexual assault. We can’t do it alone.

"Everyone serving in our total force has an important role. Foster a climate that encourages reporting and investigating allegations of these crimes. Have the courage to intervene when you see others engaging in inappropriate behavior. Reinforce a unit culture based on professionalism, respect, core values, and trust.

"If youʼve been a victim, talk to someone you trust. In addition to the trained personnel in your units and at your home stations, there are counselors at services like Military OneSource and the DoD Safe Helpline (1-(877) 995-5247) who want to help.

"We must stay committed to keeping our honor clean. We must work to strengthen our bonds of trust with each other and with the American people."

(American Forces Press Service)