April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Help Spread Awareness and Show Support for Survivors

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and this year’s theme is Engaging New Voices. The Aspire team got to participate in a conference call through our Florida Department of Health Adolescent Health Program, and we wanted to share some of the resources we gained with you. Sexual Assault Awareness Month is a way to show support for survivors, as well as sharing ways to empower communities in the prevention of sexual assault.

What are the statistics?

  • Sexual violence includes a range of actions and behaviors. Some examples include: rape, child sexual abuse, sexual exploitation, and sexual harassment.
  • Sexual violence happens to people of all ages, races, genders, sexual orientations, religions, abilities, professions, incomes, and ethnicities. It happens every day in our communities, schools, and workplaces.
  • Social inequality can increase risk.
  • This is a gendered form of violence. About one in five women (18.3%) and one in 71 men (1.4%) in the U.S. have been raped at some time in their lives (Black et al., 2011).
  • Violence starts young (Black et al., 2011)
  • 79% of female victims of rape report that they were first raped before age 25.
  • 28% of male victims of rape report that they were first raped at age 10 or younger.

This year’s theme of “Engaging New Voices” focuses on making connections with parents, coaches, faith leaders, and members of Greek life to share the message of healthy relationships. Aspire shares the laws regarding sexual consent in our high school classroom program, but there are also many other prevention tactics that we can all utilize!

What Can I Do?

  • Change your profile picture to show your support for survivors bit.ly/SAAMTwibbon
  • Distribute postcards and start a conversation about the importance of SAAM
  • Share coloring pages during discussions/worktime break “therapy”
  • Bring up a culture-changing conversation with family, friends
  • Post positive messaging / share videos
  • Show your support online by using the hashtag #SAAM and share graphics on Twitter and Facebook (@NSVRC)
  • Take part in the #30DaysofSAAM, an Instagram contest with prompts for each day of April @NSVRC

Check out this video for more information on how you can help prevent sexual assault:

(Graphics & information used with permission from Rhonda Jackson, Green Dot Coordinator, Florida Department of Health)