April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, which is a wonderful opportunity to take a more in-depth look at what we can do in order to stay proactive and focused on combating sexual abuse and assault. Since the 1970s, women and advocates for stopping sexual assault have banded together across the globe. One of the first examples of this can be seen in England in the late 70s when women held protests against sexual assault, referring to the late night walks as “Take Back the Night” marches. Word got out to other countries and similar marches started popping up everywhere. The first Take Back the Night events in the U.S. were held in San Francisco and New York City in 1978. A few years later in the early 1980s, October was dedicated to raising awareness about violence towards women, namely domestic violence. By the late 1980s, activists were looking for a month that could be devoted entirely to sexual assault on women. The National Coalition Against Sexual Assault eventually decided on April. While initially just a single week was devoted to raising awareness about sexual assault, by the late 1990s it was common for events to take place throughout the entire month of April. Since then there have been numerous areas of focus and campaigns launched during April with the intention of educating the public about sexual assault and supporting victims of sexual crimes.
Today, April is the official Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month (SAAPM) and the one month out of the year dedicated to sexual assault victims. During SAAPM, the public is asked to learn more about sexual violence, how this affects women in particular, and what we can do in order to stop it. If you are wondering how to be proactive during SAAPM, there are a handful of things you can do and events dedicated to the cause. First and foremost, it is imperative we take the time to have these difficult conversations about sexual assault and abuse. Thanks to movements like #MeToo and #TimesUp, sexual assault is no longer a hush-hush topic. Last week we gave you some tools for healthy communication about sexual assault with your kids, and today we are going to look some ways you can get involved and join thousands of women and men across the world in stopping sexual assault and abuse.
What Can I Do?
The Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network (RAINN) is the largest anti-sexual assault organization in the United States and has tons of great information regarding SAAPM and what you can do to get involved. Here are a few ways you can join us in raising awareness about sexual assault this month:
- Take the Pledge: This month, RAINN encourages you to take a stand against sexual violence by taking their pledge. The pledge includes promoting healthy relationships, being an active bystander when you notice any type of abuse, neglect, or assault taking place, and doing everything you can to support survivors of sexual violence. You can sign your name here and we encourage you to share with your friends, family members, and co-workers.
- Use Social Media – RAINN (@RAINN) has tons of great graphics on their Instagram page for sharing on social media. There are both English and Spanish square graphics that you can save and then share with your network of friends to show your support of victims of sexual assault.
- Read Up – RAINN also has a library of beneficial and informative articles on sexual violence for you to read and share. Here are a few of our favorites:
This may come as a shock to many, but nearly every single household in the United States is affected by sexual violence at one point or another. Every 98 seconds someone is sexually assaulted in America and one in six women have experienced sexual violence. If you have been sexually assaulted or abused, please contact Janovsky & Associates today. Our Dallas sexual assault lawyers understand what you are going through and have the experience and resources to represent your interests. Please give us a call today and schedule a free consultation.