Today is Sexual Assault Awareness Month’s Day of Action

Sexual Assault Awareness Month is April. Today is take action day. (SAAM)

April 2nd is declared Sexual Assault Awareness Month’s Day of Action (SAAM) and supporters are asked to post pictures wearing the teal ribbon using the hashtag #SAAM2024.

The National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) uses the month of April to reinforce that whenever anyone experiences sexual violence, every community member is affected. By working to promote the collective well-being of our communities, we are also buffering against the risk of sexual abuse, assault, and harassment.

Bringing awareness

It is bringing awareness to the forefront to educate people on a subject many do not know about. There are underlying issues as well because to educate people on sexual assault, harassment, and abuse, there must also be solutions. Education and solutions work in tandem. SAAM began with the intent of starting a movement that would end sexual violence.

The History behind the movement began in the 1940s in the United States with the civil rights era. The advocates for equal rights challenged the status quo. Advocates such as Rosa Parks opened our eyes to race-based and gender-based violence. Heightened awareness came when the first rape crisis center opened in San Francisco in 1971.

Women’s Equal Rights Parade, 1977 (Library of Congress)

Survivors and advocates mobilized and put pressure on Legislation and such Acts as The Violence Against Women Act of 1993 (VAWA) materialized.

In 2001, SAAM was first nationally observed. To date, advocates continue holding events, marches, and observances related to sexual violence during April, sometimes during a week-long “Sexual Assault Awareness Week.”

Primary objective

Since its inception, SAAM’s primary objective has been awareness. The teal ribbon has become the symbol of hope for those who have experienced sexual violence. SAAM focuses on communities, workplaces, and school campuses. Their campaigns are geared toward educating people about what sexual violence is and how to stop it before it happens. It is a campaign to change behaviors and promote respect for individuals.

In the past few years, SAAM has emphasized ways parents, faith leaders, and coaches can be a part of preventing sexual assault by sharing ways to prevent it.

In our area, The Tree House Inc. is a resource for victims of child abuse. Contact them on their 24-hour Advocate Hotline at (470) 755-5486. In Habersham County, visit Rape Response online. For Banks, Jackson, and Barrow Counties, call (770) 586-5423 or visit Piedmont Rape Crisis

There is a National Sexual Assault Hotline 24 hours. To learn more call 1-800-656-4673

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