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SAA-Month-2015-2

Raise Awareness During SAAM

SAA-Month-2015-2The issue of sexual assault has been gaining awareness in recent months as more and more survivors are coming forward to tell their stories. Sexual assault is still a big problem in our country. According to RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network):

  • Every day in the United States, there are 804 incidents of sexual assault.
  • That makes for about 293,000 victims of sexual violence every year.
  • One in six women and one in 33 men will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime.

We still have a long way to go towards ending sexual assault, but we believe that there is hope. In honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), we can all work together to create a culture of healthy relationships and end sexual violence. This month, RAINN is highlighting four steps to being an active bystander. Using the C.A.R.E. acronym, these steps emphasize the role of friends and loved ones taking action:

Create a distraction: Do what you can to interrupt the situation. A distraction can give the person at risk a chance to get to a safe place.

Ask directly: If you see someone who looks uncomfortable or is at risk, intervene and talk to the person who might be in trouble. If you feel safe, find a way to de-escalate the situation and separate all parties involved.

Refer to an authority: Keeping your friends safe doesn’t have to fall entirely on you alone. Sometimes the safest way to intervene is to involve someone who has more influence than you.

Enlist others: It can be intimidating to approach a situation alone. Enlist another person to support you. There is safety in numbers.

There are plenty of other ways to get involved during SAAM and speak out against sexual violence. Check out the list below, or visit RAINN.org or the National Sexual Violence Resource Center for more info.

April 3: Speak out against victim-blaming on the International Day Against Victim Blaming. On social media use #IDAVB #EndVictimBlaming

April 8: Austin friends, join loveisrespect and many other organizations from 6:30-9 p.m at Take Back the Night on the Main Mall at UT Austin. Hosted by UT’s Voices Against Violence, this gender-inclusive event will serve to illuminate the movement to end sexual violence.

April 12-18: Participate in the It’s on Us Week of Action to raise awareness of college sexual assault. #Itsonus

April 29: Denim Day! Be sure to wear your denim and share the powerful story of this decades-long movement to end misconceptions and victim-blaming. #DenimDay.

All month: Check out RAINN’s 7 Ways to Take Action this April.

All month: Campuses and cities across the country will be screening The Hunting Ground film, which addresses campus sexual assault. Find a screening near you.

All month: Share your SAAM photos and news on Instagram with the NSVRC’s #30DaysofSAAM photo contest!

Additional resources:

SAAM

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

SAAMThere is an average of 237,868 victims (age 12 or older) of rape and sexual assault each year. (via RAINN.org, U.S. Department of Justice. National Crime Victimization Survey. 2008-2012.)

Nearly 1 in 10 women in the United States (9.4%) has been raped by an intimate partner in her lifetime. (via NoMore.org)

1 in 6 men has experienced sexual abuse before age 18. (via 1in6.org)

The statistics are sobering, but as with all forms of abuse, they only tell us part of the story. There are countless instances of sexual assault and abuse that go unreported. It’s important to remember that while sexual assault happens disproportionately to females, anyone can be a victim.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), during which activists from all over the nation seek to raise awareness about sexual violence and educate individuals and communities about how to end it. This effort requires many voices – including yours! There are several ways you can get involved, and here are just a few:

If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual assault and you need someone to talk to, contact the hotline 24/7 at 1-800-799-7233 or chat online Monday through Friday, 9am-7pm CST. All contact is free, anonymous, and confidential.

Other resources:

National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE

National Sexual Assault Online Hotline at online.rainn.org

saam day of action

#SAAM Around the Country

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and every day we read more and more about the events and activities going on all throughout the country. It’s empowering to see so many people getting involved to speak out against domestic violence – and hopefully some of these events will inspire you to share your voice as well.


  • The Clothesline Project, an effort supported by Verizon Wireless, is happening in towns all across the country. Those affected by violence decorate a t-shirt with personal stories and messages, and then these are all hung on a clothesline for others to view. Many towns and organizations are taking part, including Voices Against Violence at Plymouth State University, Shippensburg University and Rhode Island College.
  • The Orange County Rape Crisis Center in North Carolina is painting the town teal with events ranging from a “Gratitude Gala” to celebrate volunteers and supporters, to a “Healing Trauma With Yoga” workshop.
  • Colorado State University’s Women and Gender Advocacy Center is hosting events and talks all through the month, such as the “But I’m a Nice Guy!” workshop to explore ways men can be agents of change and confront sexual violence.
  • Minnesota State Mankato Women’s Center is hosting various events in April, including a trivia night to test people’s knowledge related to women’s history and women’s accomplishments.
  • At Palo Alto High School a student-run publication called Verde Magazine dedicated their entire April issue to rape awareness, including interviews with two students about their own experiences with sexual assault.
  • In Salt Lake City and countless other places in the country, people joined together for Slut Walks to speak out against sexual violence and victim blaming (i.e. the idea that victims invited an attack because of what they were wearing).
  • One Penn State student bravely shared her personal story in order to “put a name and a face next to those statistics and the horrors that Sexual Assault Awareness Month is attempting to fight.”
  • Hampshire College hosted a program about sexual assault in the military, with author Helen Benedict.
  • Towns like Fort Morgan, CO, have organized Take Back The Night events, which are gatherings/walks where victims and advocates join together to “take back their voices” by sharing stories and speaking out against sexual violence.
  • The Oklahoma City Barons hockey team is donating a portion of its April ticket sales to sexual assault prevention programs, and is wearing teal ribbons on their helmets to promote awareness.

These are just a few of the amazing events that are taking place during April’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month. We’d love to hear what you or your community is doing – let us know in the comment section.

sexual violence media

Sexual Violence in the Media: #TweetAboutIt

As part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, the National Sexual Violence Resource Center has organized weekly #TweetAboutIt Tuesdays focused on various topics related to sexual assault. Today we joined in on the conversation hosted by reporter Tara Murtha and the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape to discuss sexual violence in the media.

What’s a Twitter Chat?
A TwitChat is a conversation that takes place on Twitter, often hosted by an organization or a group with a common interest, to discuss a topic (like sexual violence in the media). There’s generally a hashtag (#) involved, so that anyone can click the hashtag, see what others are saying and follow along. Anyone can join in – simply start tweeting using the hashtag, and you’re part of the conversation. Take part in another SAAM TwitChat organized by NSVRC next Tuesday at 2PM by using the hashtag #TweetAboutIt.

http://storify.com/NDVH/sexual-violence-in-the-media-tweetaboutit

Sexual Assault Awareness Month

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (#SAAM)

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.

Read More

AAUW: Sexual Harassment

RAINN: Get Information

1 in 6: Info for Men

SAFER: Info about Campus Sexual Assault

Circle of 6 App: Healthy Relationships Toolkit

Men Can Stop Rape: Get Information

National Domestic Violence Hotline Blog

Ten Things You Might Not Know About Sexual Assault

Each year approximately 207,754 sexual assaults occur in the United States (RAINN). However, despite that astounding number, sexual assault is still not widely discussed.

To conclude Sexual Assault Awareness Month, please read this list of 10 things you might not know about sexual assault. Sexual assault is not just rape or attempted rape — it is any unwanted sexual contact or advances, preventing someone or being prevented from using birth control and/or rough or violent sexual behavior. Read the definition from The National Center for Victims of Crime to learn more.

1. One in every 10 sexual assault victims is male (RAINN).

2. Sexual assault occurs as often during the daytime as it does during the night (Stanford Sexual Assault and Relationship Abuse Prevention & Support).

3. Forty-four percent of sexual assault victims are under the age of 18. Eighty percent of sexual assault victims are under the age of 30 (RAINN).

4. Victims of sexual assault are more prone to depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, trouble sleeping and anxiety disorders (CDC).

5. Two-thirds of assaults are perpetrated by someone whom the victim knows. Thirty-eight percent of rapists are a friend or acquaintance of the victim (RAINN).

6. Nearly one in four women will experience sexual assault in their lifetime (National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence).

7. Half of all sexual assaults happen within one mile of the victim’s home (RAINN).

8. Out of every 100 sexual assaults, only 46 get reported to the police. Out of those 46 reports, only 12 will lead to an arrest. Out of those 12 arrests, only nine attackers will be prosecuted.

9. Out of those prosecutions, only five will lead to a felony conviction. Despite those five convictions, only three of the perpetrators spend a single day in jail. That means that 97 attackers walk away unscathed (RAINN).

10. Some good news: the instances of sexual assault have decreased nearly 60 percent since 2000, although they are still staggeringly high (U.S. Department of Justice).

Despite the decrease in frequency over the past decade, sexual assault is still an extremely prevalent and pervasive crime in the United States. Please take a moment today to spread awareness about this critical issue.

National Domestic Violence Hotline Awareness

The History of Sexual Assault Awareness Month

April is nationally recognized as Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). During this time advocates work to raise awareness about sexual violence and educate communities around the nation about how to prevent sexual assault.

This year’s campaign, It’s Time to Talk About It, focuses on healthy sexuality and encourages people to discuss how we can respect one another in order to prevent sexual violence. It’s Time To Talk About It will provide tools and resources to promote positive expressions of sexuality and healthy behaviors.

SAAM has been a nationally recognized event since the early 2000s, but it was many years in the making.

In the late 1970s women began working to “Take Back the Night” in response to the violence that was being experienced while walking through city streets after sundown. The initial female-only protests were meant to share information about sexual assault with the communities they took place in. By the 1980s these sexual assault awareness activities had expanded to include the issue of violence against women. It wasn’t long before these activities expanded even more and encompassed violence against men, and males began participating to raise awareness.

In the late 1980s, the National Coalition Against Sexual Assault began developing interest in selecting a designated time period to promote awareness. An informal poll of sexual assault coalition agencies revealed that April would be a suitable month, and the national Sexual Assault Awareness Week was established.

It wasn’t until the late 1990s that this week was expanded to an entire month. In April of 2001, SAAM as we know it was celebrated for the first time.

Each year the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) works to coordinate SAAM activities nationwide. The organization provides resources to advocates nationwide to help them plan and facilitate their programs during the month.

Over the last few years, the NSVRC has placed increasing emphasis on the prevention of sexual violence. As a result, the SAAM campaigns have been increasingly geared toward educating young people.

The goal of this month is to build safe, healthy and respectful relationships.

For more information or to find out how you can get involved, please visit the SAAM/NSVRC website.