April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), which is a time to raise awareness and educate individuals on what and how to prevent sexual assault. Sexual assault is any unwanted sexual activity between one person to another without consent. Gaining knowledge on what sexual assault is and how to prevent it can help mitigate sexual assault altogether.
Effects of Sexual Assault
Each and every survivor of sexual assault is affected differently. According to this sexual assault statistics examination, “sexual assault affects a survivor’s life in all aspects – emotionally, physically, mentally and financially…It impacts their sense of self and how safe they feel in their own skin.” With the right support, the effects of sexual assault can be managed.
If you or someone you know is experiencing or has experienced sexual assault, call the free confidential National Sexual Assault Hotline.
What is Sexual Assault Awareness Month
In April 2001, SAAM was founded by the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC). Awareness was the main goal that NSVRC was seeking as they began this movement. Awareness quickly turned into prevention focusing heavily on how sexual assault could be stopped. SAAM turned its focus not only to sexual assault survivors and advocates, but to individuals such as coaches, teachers, and parents to help share feasible ways to prevent sexual violence. Every April, SAAM is acknowledged by more and more individuals including school campuses and houses of faith. As SAAM continues to grow and adapt NSVRC is making it known “that a world free of sexual assault and abuse is possible.”
Teal Awareness Ribbons
Awareness ribbons have been worn to show support and awareness for many different campaigns and movements over the years. After a poll was taken to decide which color would be the official color to support Sexual Assault Awareness Month, teal was chosen as the most preferred color. Representing a teal ribbon helps show support to sexual assault victims and spread awareness about prevention. Wear your teal ribbon around this April!
Sexual Assault Awareness Timeline:
Educate yourself and others.
Research, get involved and educate those around you on ways they can help prevent sexual violence.
Attend an event.
Show your support by attending and registering for events or simply interacting with social media posts on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or any other social platform.
Volunteer and donate.
Find an organization you support and research ways you can help out. Donate your time to local sexual assault crisis centers or donate money to help bring awareness to sexual assault prevention.
Sexual Assault Awareness Month
Sexual assault is not an easy thing to talk about, and maybe that is why it isn’t talked about as much as it should be. Sexual Assault Awareness Month is a time to focus on educating those around us on what sexual assault is and how it can be prevented. Help spread the word!
If you or someone you know is experiencing sexual assault, call the free confidential National Sexual Assault Hotline or choose from one of many National Hotlines. You are not alone.