April marks the start of Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), a vital campaign spreading awareness and growing support for survivors of sexual assault.
Sexual assault remains a growing epidemic in our country. According to RAINN, someone in the United States is sexually assaulted every 68 seconds. There are over 463,600 new survivors over the age of 12 every year, and 55% of incidents occur near the survivors’ homes.
Advocates promoting SAAM aim to decrease these numbers, starting with public awareness and education. With greater efforts to support survivors and educate others on identifying signs of sexual assault, the better we can protect and prevent these events from occurring.
The History of Sexual Assault Month
The National Sexual Violence Research Center started acknowledging April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month in 2001; however, the roots of SAAM date back to the 1970s. During this time, activists began organizing efforts to reduce sexual assault nationally. Advocates pushed through significant boundaries to turn a once ‘taboo topic’ into one of crucial concern, bringing to light the widespread issues surrounding sexual assault and its effects on survivors in our society.
Notable events taking place during this time leading up to the annual SAAM include:
- First rape crisis center opened in 1971, Bay Area Women Against Rape.
- Take Back the Night rally 1976.
- Take Back the Night series of marches to follow.
- Mobilization of groups across the country to prevent sexual assault in the 1980s.
- The passing of the Violence Against Women Act 1994.
Now a nationally recognized initiative, the SAAM campaign is used by non-profit organizations, agencies, and firms like Slater Slater Schulman, who advocate for survivors to help spark societal change. Through events, educational programs, petitions, public events, and legislative actions, efforts during SAAM allows advocates to get the word out on the causes of sexual assault, signs communities can look for to prevent it, and how to support survivors.
Show Your Support
Our team at Slater Slater Schulman will be participating in several initiatives this month to spread awareness and education on the prevalence of sexual assault, and support the brave survivors we are honored to represent. Here are some ways you can participate too:
SAAM Day of Action (April 4)
SAAM Day of Action is held on the first Tuesday of every April. This is an excellent opportunity to get your friends, family, and coworkers together to plan an event or social media campaign to show your support. Wear teal to advocate for change and signal to survivors that you are safe to confide in if they need help.
Attend a SAAM Event (all month)
You can find a local SAAM event to participate in right in your community through the National Sexual Violence Resource Center. Some are in person, and others are virtual to allow everyone to participate.
Use the Teal Ribbon
After the Day of Action, use the teal ribbon throughout the month to continue showing your support. You can attach it to your Zoom background or social photo or put a physical display on your desk. Any way you can spread your willingness to support survivors can make a difference.
#30DaysofSAAM on Instagram
Post a photo of your support or SAAM event using the hashtag #30DaysofSAAM on social media. You can also follow the calendar and pick prompts for creating content to help support the monthly initiative of spreading awareness.
Slater Slater Schulman Advocates for Sexual Assault
Surviving sexual abuse is something that one suffering should not face alone. Slater Slater Schulman LLP is dedicated to the nationwide confidential representation of those who have suffered from the traumatic consequences of sexual abuse.
If you or someone you love is a survivor of sexual abuse and wishes to file a claim, please contact Slater Slater Schulman LLP for a free consultation by filling out the form on this page or by calling our office at (800) 251-6990.