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April, Sexual Assault Awareness Month

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The Army kicked of Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) with a speech by Army General Raymond Odierno Friday at the Pentagon in Washington D. C.

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"The goal of SAAM is to raise public awareness about sexual violence and to educate communities and individuals on how to prevent sexual violence," according to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center website. "By working together and pooling our resources during the month of April, we can highlight sexual violence as a major public health, human rights and social justice issue and reinforce the need for prevention efforts."

The military has been in the spotlight the past couple of years for it's alleged problems dealing with and preventing sexual assault.

The U.S. Department of Defense estimated, based on 2013 Pentagon statistics, that 19,000 sexual assaults happen in the military per year to men and women, but only 1,108 service men and women reported the abuse. Any only 575 cases were processed.

Military troops tell reporters that reporting sexual assault is a career ender.

One of the most famous sexual assault scandals for the military was the 2003 letter the the Secretary of the Air Force and the media that sexual assault was happening regularly at the United States Air Force Academy.

An investigation into the claim found 12 percent of female air force cadet graduates in 2003 revealed they had been either the victim of rape or attempted rape while at the academy.

Of the female cadets who had not yet graduated, 70 percent said they had been the victims of everything from sexual harassment to rape.

Following the findings, new leadership was put in place at the academy, and new reporting procedures were put in place for reporting sexual assault.

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