April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month
April 3, 2023
Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) calls attention to the fact that sexual violence is widespread and impacts every person in the community. SAAM aims to raise public awareness about sexual violence and educate communities about how to prevent it.
The theme of this year’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month campaign is Drawing Connections: Prevention Demands Equity. The campaign calls on all individuals, communities, organizations, and institutions to change the oppressive systems surrounding us to build equity and respect within the community, our workplaces, and for the future our youth hold.
We understand that systems of oppression such as racism, sexism, classism, heterosexism, ageism, ableism, etc. contribute to higher rates of sexual harassment, assault, and abuse. Unfortunately, those same groups are also the most impacted by inequitable systems of oppression in our society, and statistics show:
More than 1 in 4 non-Hispanic Black women (29%) in the United States were raped in their lifetime (Basile et al., 2022).
More than 4 in 5 American Indian and Alaska Native women (84.3%) have experienced violence in their lifetime (Rosay, 2016).
1 in 3 Hispanic women (34.8%) reported unwanted sexual contact in their lifetime (Basile et al., 2022).
32.9% of adults with intellectual disabilities have experienced sexual violence (Tomsa et al., 2021).
47% of all transgender people have been sexually assaulted at some point in their lives (James et al., 2016).
Making the connection between various forms of oppression and the underlying causes of sexual assault is crucial to making holistic and lasting change. We recognize that it will take ending all forms of oppression to end sexual violence worldwide. However, we cannot do this without recognizing historical injustice and realizing how privilege and complacency reinforces oppression.
Crime Victim Services is committed to cultivating communities free from all forms of violence and oppression. Through a combination of anti-oppression practices, restorative justice and accessible services for all, we believe our community can thrive in safety and healing. Our Day One program provides comprehensive advocacy and support services for survivors of sexual violence and our Prevention program provides culturally appropriate educational curriculum to youth and adults in our community with the express purpose of preventing relationship violence and cultivating a culture where consent and respect for one another is a central tenet.
We join advocates, preventionists, and communities across the country in taking action to prevent sexual violence. While April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, each day of the year is an opportunity to create change for the future, and we invite you to join us.