Every two minutes, someone in this country is sexually assaulted. On average there are 207,754 victims of rape and sexual assault each year.
This April, join us in acknowledging and promoting Sexual Assault Awareness Month. All across the country, people are taking a stand and promoting the prevention of sexual violence through educational speaker series, campaigns, online days of action and other events.
One of the most common misconceptions about sexual violence is that it involves a stranger. In reality, among female rape victims for example, 51.1% of perpetrators are reported to be intimate partners and 40.8% are acquaintances.
In a relationship that may be displaying signs of abuse, it’s not unlikely that sexual abuse or sexual coercion may be present. Like physical violence, sexual violence helps a batterer gain a sense of power and control. Sexual assault is any nonconsensual sexual act, physical or verbal, that goes against the victim’s will. It almost always involves a use of threat or force.
Coercion can take on many different forms. EX: Making a partner feel obligated to have sex (“Sex is the way you prove your love for me”) or reproductive coercion (tampering with or withholding birth control; pressuring you to become pregnant).
Have you or someone you know experienced any of the signs mentioned above? Call The Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE to speak confidentially with an advocate. We can help you learn more about healthy relationships, consent, and types of coercion. We can safety plan with you at any stage, whether you’re questioning something going on, experiencing ongoing abuse, or otherwise.
You can also call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE, the National Sexual Violence Resource Center at 1-877-739-3895, or use RAINN’s Online Hotline.
Educate Your Community
Advocate at your local school for further education about healthy relationships. Speak at a board meeting and hold an informational meeting with parents, teachers and others interested in the issue.
Discuss consent – with your children, with your family, with your partner. The absence of a “No” never equals a “Yes.”
Speak Out Against Sexual Violence
Make your voice heard. Join #SAAM Tweet Ups every Tuesday of the month for different discussions about child sexual abuse prevention and how adults can promote healthy development.
Donate your social media accounts to the cause. Visit the National Sexual Violence Resource Center for downloadable logos, posters and images for Twitter and Facebook, education tools and other resources.
Volunteer at your local rape crisis center.
AAUW: Sexual Harassment
RAINN: Get Information
1 in 6: Info for Men
Circle of 6 App: Healthy Relationships Toolkit
Men Can Stop Rape: Get Information