Sexual Assault Awareness Month
This year thousands of women and men have stepped forward with their sexual assault stories. April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and today is SAAM Day of Action. It is crucial to continue the conversation about sexual violence. About 1 in 5 women and 1 in 67 men in the United States have experienced rape or attempted rape at some point in their lives. Whether a person is five or fifty, they can experience sexual violence. Often times the abuser can be a family member, friend or romantic partner.
One of the most important principles to remember is that VICTIMS ARE NEVER TO BLAME. A person's clothing, behavior or intoxication level does not give anyone the "okay" to sexually assault them.
Sexual assault victims often wait a very long time to report the abuse and more often than not people do not report it at all. A person may feel shame, pressure, fear that they won't be believed or fear of retaliation.
One of the most important concepts that comes out of sexual assault is consent. All 7 billion of use on this planet should practice consent everyday. It is so important to ask if it's okay to hug, tickle, touch, etc. Each sexual assault survivor has their own story and remember very specific details from it. If their abuser came up from behind and tightly wrapped his/her arms around them, they will most likely feel very uncomfortable or experience intense anxiety if that is done to them again, even if it's in a playful way. For anyone who has experienced sexual abuse, unexpected touches can be scary and anxiety provoking.
Sex without consent is sexual assault. Consent needs to be clear. Just because someone does not say "no" does not imply that they mean "yes."
The fight to end sexual assault in the United States, and throughout the world is an ongoing process. It is so important that the conversation continues even after this month is over. If you want to learn how you can get involved in your community, click the link below.
Wear teal today and use the hashtag #SAAMDayOfAction on social media.
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