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Remember the number sixty-eight

  • Published
  • By 14 FTW Sexual Assault Victim Advocate
  • 14th Flying Training Wing

COLUMBUS AIR FORCE BASE, Miss.-- As Columbus Air Force Base recaps our April Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month (SAAPM), we recognize that sexual violence is widespread, and it takes all of us to prevent these crimes. During the month of April, communities came together across the nation to promote sexual assault prevention and awareness addressing the fact that sexual assault can occur anytime, anywhere and to anyone.

On April 1st, Col Seth Graham, the 14 Flying Training Wing Commander, signed our Sexual Assault Proclamation renewing Columbus Air Force Base’s commitment to ending sexual violence. During the ceremony, we were honored by one of our own brave and courageous survivors, SSgt Kory Talbert, 14th Communications Squadron Quality Assurance Technician, who shared his 20-year journey about being sexually assaulted at 11 years old and how the Air Force helped him recover.

SSgt Kory Talbert’s Facebook interview “The Power of YOUR Uniform” has reached over 1.1K views and counting, plus the incredible impact of those who attended his storytelling event in person. SSgt Talbert was coined by leadership for his bravery and courage, as well as his commitment to the Air Force. He is currently deployed serving as a Volunteer Victim Advocate.

Our Sexual Assault Prevention and Response (SAPR) Office did not stop on April 1st. We continued rallying stakeholders to join in our prevention strategies by teaming up with our leadership for Resiliency Day on April 8th at the SAPR dunk booth. We cheered on our leaders as they plummeted into a frigid water tank in 55-degree weather with wind gusts of up to 20 mph. CAFB‘s 5/6 council collected donations from those wanting a chance to dunk leadership in order to donate to a local abuse shelter.

After April 8th, we rolled into a two-week interactive Community Action Team mini-fair at the 14th Medical Group and set up four other prevention booths across the base. We ended awareness and prevention month on April 27th with Denim Day. Members of the Columbus AFB community wore Denim to show that there is never an excuse to commit sexual assault.

This month, CAFB has honored the survivors and their bravery by renewing our commitment in eliminating sexual violence. Our job is not done. Why? Because according to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), every 68 seconds an American is sexually assaulted. This is why prevention and awareness efforts should not and will not be only in April.

Columbus AFB is committed in fighting sexual violence “Not just in April” but throughout the entire year. We passionately support all victims and survivors of such crimes. Therefore, our SAPR team will not slow down. We have more collaborative prevention strategies on the horizon. Remember, those sexual assaults that occur every 68 seconds are “Not just in April” and can happen to you or someone you know. Help us be a part of the solution and not part of the problem.

If you have been a victim of sexual assault, or you have questions about how to support someone who has been a victim of sexual assault, please reach out to our Columbus AFB SAPR team. We are always available to confidentially assist you with questions or resources.

Contact our CAFB Hotline 662-364-0822 (24 hours); Mr. Tony Bean (SARC) at 662-242-2105; or Ms. Kristina Conwill (Victim Advocate) at 662-364-7473.

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