BNtheMix/ April 8th – April marks the beginning of an annual campaign recognized as National Sexual Assault, Awareness, and Prevention Month. SAAM, for short, has been repeated yearly for 18 years in America, but activists have been involved as early as the 1940s. Sexual assault affects millions of people world wide every year. Last year alone, an estimated 190,000 Americans found themselves the target of an assault. That compares roughly to one in every four college women.
What Is Sexual Assault Awareness Month?
SAAM has roots that date back to historical moments. In today’s world, it is making a great impact and improves each year with the education taught. Even before the annual month of April was recognized, the movement still made impacts in sexual civil rights cases. The aim has always been about preventing assault and educating the public on the consequences an assault has on a victim.
What Will It Take To Stop This Issue?
Sexual assaults are a practice that have been present since the beginning of man. This doesn’t excuse or condone the act. In fact, an effort to erase the problem from society would take more than time to succeed. A global population would have to put in real effort to push the education. Classes on prevention, academics premised specifically on what constitutes sexual assault, would need to be readily available. Stricter enforcement would of course be necessary. These cases all seem extreme and long term work with little results. With that said, great things start small. In this issue the smallest and yet most important contributor to change is ourselves.
What Can Individuals Do To Help?
In recent years, audiences comprised of more than just advocates have come forward to raise awareness. As victims range from everyone ranging from priests, to family, to ourselves, resources have been put in place to share ideas preventing sexual assaults. Advocating and raising awareness are the two strongest weapons against fighting the issue. Another concept to keep in mind is that the assaults can’t end, until man has decided to be a solution to the problem. As an individual to the cause, here are a few options that may help you find your start.
Sexual Assault Awareness Resources
-www.nsvrc.org . This website is the national website and offers a variety of resources to victims, advocates, educators, and more
-College campuses have resource centers available.
-Local Law Enforcement
Things YOU Can Do To Prevent Sexual Assault
-KNOW SILENCE IS NOT CONSENT
-DO NOT BLAME VICTIMS
-TAKE YOUR SEXUALITY INTO YOUR OWN RESPONSIBILITY
-INTERRUPT RAPE JOKES
-SUPPORT MEN AND WOMEN TRYING TO ADVOCATE
Now that you have your list of resources, you can begin your journey to advocate stopping the violence that has so needlessly gone unnoticed for a millennia. Take your stand. Be confident that by simply being observant, or asking if someone is alright, can tell you so much about how that person is doing. Educating yourself will teach you how to not encourage the behavior any longer. Using drugs to intoxicate someone, participating in sexist behavior such as stereotypes, and even mocking a photo of the opposite sex, simply because of their gender, are all forms of sexual assault. These, along with the traditional sense of sexual assault, demand attention at once. Follow this article and begin your part immediately!