Every year, in the month of April, various community-based, tribal, territory and state organizations organize activities and events in order to highlight sexual violence. Businesses, government agencies and rape crisis centers also join this great venture. They highlight this as a social justice, human rights and public health issue. These organizations also amplify the need for implementing prevention efforts. Well, we are talking about Sexual Assault Awareness Month and every year people in the United States and Canada observe this event in the month of April. This is the month when people conduct public awareness programs regarding sexual assault. They educate individuals and communities on how to stop sexual violence.

A woman is like a tea bag; you never know how strong it is until it’s in hot water.

Eleanor Roosevelt

According to reports, every day, hundreds of Americans are affected by sexual violence. In the United States, the month of April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Well, sexual assault does not discriminate; it can happen to any person, at any time. Therefore, it is very important to work with your community to spread awareness of these crimes and to ensure that everyone understands the prevalence of sexual violence. According to the reports, 1 out of 6 women has been the victim of a completed or an attempted rape in her lifetime. Apart from this, almost 63,000 children a year are victims of sexual abuse. It is on all of us to step up and be a part of the solution. Being an active bystander can mean physically intervening in a situation or calling out language that actually perpetuates rape culture.

History Of Sexual Assault Awareness Month

As we are talking about Sexual Assault Awareness Month, it is very essential to know about the history of this event. During 1970, there was significant growth in the awareness programs and prevention efforts in order to mitigate sexual violence across the nation. In 1994, advocates and survivors worked hard in the process of implementing the Violence Against Women Act. This was the first law that treats gender violence as a crime instead of giving it a ‘private family matter’ tag. It was in 2000 when the National Sexual Violence Resource Centre was set up. This organization first recognized the national Sexual Assault Awareness Month campaign in 2001. This campaign turned to Prevention of Sexual Violence in 2005. After that, this organization sent tool kits to the rape crisis centres across the nation.

Know More About Sexual Assault Awareness Month

There is a question that might titillate your mind- what was the survivor doing when the crime occurred? Well, according to reports, almost 48% were sleeping or doing any activity at home. The sexual assault response centres come forward to help people who are victimized by sexual violence. The likelihood that a person deals with depressive or suicidal thoughts increases after sexual violence. Almost 70% of rape or sexual assault victims experience moderate to severe distress. 94% of women who are raped are diagnosed with the symptoms of PTSD during the two weeks following the rape. After someone is sexually assaulted, every minute counts to collect the evidence for delivering the justice.

National Sexual Violence Resource Center

Well, the National Sexual Violence Resource Center highlights the impact and causes of sexual violence through resources, prevention and collaboration. The Center for Disease Control and the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape established this organization in 2000. Providing technical assistance and training, crating various online tools, integrating the research results with the community-based projects, sponsoring various national conference programs, coordinating the Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and consulting are some activities that this organization does.

Activities And Event During The Sexual Assault Awareness Month

During Sexual Assault Awareness Month, various activities and events are conducted. These are as follows:

  • Day Of Action: Day of Action is the first Tuesday in the month of April. This day provides an opportunity so that everyone can take action in order to prevent sexual violence.
  • Take Back The Night: Well, this is an international event. During this event, people do rallies and candlelight vigil. Moreover, the survivors speak out.
  • Denim Day: Denim Day symbolizes the protest against the misconception regarding sexual assault.
  • Walk A Mile In Her Shoes: Well, this is another international event. This event started in 2001. It is a kind of men’s march in order to prevent gender violence, sexual assault and rape.

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