Sexual Assault Awareness Month
Time & Location
About the Event
Sexual assault refers to sexual behavior that occurs without explicit consent of a person. Sexual assault comes in many forms and can include rape, molestation, unwanted sexual contact of any other form, sexual harassment, incest, sexual violence even with an intimate partner, sexual exploitation, and human trafficking.
April is National Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). The purpose of this designated awareness month is to bring attention and understanding to sexual violence survivors and to educate communities on how to prevent it.
The National Sexual Violence Resource Center released the following statistics:
Every 98 seconds someone in the United States is sexually assaulted
1 in 5 women have been raped
1 in 33 men have been raped
What is it about the world we live in that allows for sexual violence to exist and at an epidemic level? Answer: Rape culture.
Rape culture is embedded in our society, and lives in our communities. Its pervasiveness reaches the shows and movies we watch, the music we listen to, where we socialize, on the streets, at school and where we work. More often than not, it’s situations in which sexual assault, rape and general violence are ignored, trivialized, normalized or made into jokes. So how do we as a society perpetuate rape culture? When 994 out of 1,000 perpetrators walk free, when someone is assaulted every 98 seconds, when entertainers and individuals joke about rape, when men feel entitled to verbally and physically assault women, when men who are victims are ridiculed and dismissed, when we don’t believe or support victims…. That is rape culture!!
To truly commit to the eradication of sexual violence from our communities, we must address the root cause, and why it happens. Community members can work to prevent sexual violence by establishing healthy and positive relationships that are based on respect, safety, and equality. You can be a part of thesolution by:
Being a role model for respectful behavior to those around you
Talking with your children about healthy sexual development and personal boundaries
Intervene and speak up when you see inappropriate behavior
Report suspected child abuse. Know what to do if you or someone you know suspects a child may be being abused
In April, and every month to follow, people across the country are encouraged to embrace their voices to show support for survivors, and speak out if they have experienced sexual assault themselves. One month isn’t enough time to solve this serious issue, but it’s a fantastic place to start. This month, do your part to end the widespread problem that is sexual assault.
If you, or anyone you know is experiencing any of these, or experiences them in the future, call the police or click here for the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline. Sexual assault is a crime and is not something that should ever be taken lightly. Do not be afraid to speak out if this happens to you.