Every 98 seconds, someone in America is sexually assaulted. Every 8 minutes, that victim is a child, according to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network.
These numbers are simply appalling. April 1st marked the beginning of Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) to help prevent these heinous acts of violence and encourage individuals speak up and speak out.
“Take Back the Night” marches began in the late 1970s in England, and eventually spread to other cities around the world. In the 1980s, the National Coalition Against Sexual Assault dedicated a week towards raising awareness on sexual violence, but in the 1990s, activists spread their events out during the entire month.
Dedication to preventing sexual assault in communities, workplaces and colleges, building healthy relationships and encouraging bystanders to get involved have been several key topics over the past decade for SAAM advocates. With several sexual assault cases making headlines recently involving sports, religion, and fraternities and sororities, the 2017 campaign for Sexual Assault Awareness Month will center around coaches, faith leaders, parents, Greek Life and bystanders.
To get involved during SAAM, you can use the hashtag #SAAM on social media, hang posters, attend a local coalition’s SAAM event or wear a teal ribbon, which has been the official symbol of Sexual Assault Awareness since 2000.