VIDEO: Sexual Assault Awareness Month
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Welcome to April! It’s spring, it’s poetry month, it’s volunteer month.
It’s also Sexual Assault Awareness Month. This year’s theme is Embrace Your Voice and comes on the heels of the Me Too and Time’s Up movements.
Sexual assault is any unwanted sexual activity- is a crime of power and control, and can include rape, being forced to commit a sexual act, fondling, touching, etc.
One in four girls: TWENTY FIVE PERCENT and one in six boys: SEVENTEEN PERCENT will be a victim of sexual assault before they turn 18. About 2/3 of college students will experience sexual harassment. Sixty three percent of sexual assaults are NOT reported to the police. Two thirds of sexual assaults are committed by someone the victim knows- like a friend, partner, or family member.
How you talk about sexual violence matters. When you stand up for survivors, you send a powerful message that you believe and support them.
So many sexual assaults go unreported because victims fear no one will believe them, they do not trust law enforcement, they don’t think there’s enough evidence, they fear being shamed/blamed for their assault. When rape or assault is reported, there is usually no arrest or conviction. RARELY do people file false reports of sexual violence, yet when survivors come forward, many face scrutiny or encounter barriers.
Why Embrace Your Voice?
Chances are, someone you know is a survivor of sexual violence. They may not have told anyone because they are afraid of being judged or blamed. That person is likely listening to your opinions and attitudes for clues as to how you may respond.
The words you choose every day let people know your values. Speak up so that others know you believe survivors and do not believe in stereotypes or make light of sexual violence.
Remember, if you are a victim of sexual assault, it is NOT YOUR FAULT and YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
There are lots of resources out there: NSVRC, RAINN, your local Coalition against Domestic Violence, and your local family justice center.
We believe survivors.
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month: Embrace Your Voice