April is officially Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and it’s important to educate and inform to spread awareness and empower women who may be suffering from this issue. Sexual abuse has run rampant against both women and men for decades. Rape is the most under-reported crime; 68% of sexual assault cases are not reported to the police, a statistic that is formed out of fear and lack of awareness when it comes to sexual abuse. This is why April has become Sexual Abuse Awareness Month, or SAAM – to help educate and empower those who have suffered, or are suffering from sexual abuse.
Sexual assault awareness was not brought to light until the late 1970’s when women in England held protests against the violence they encountered by hosting “Take Back the Night Marches.” Word began to spread and protests grew all around the world. Ove time, sexual assault awareness events grew to include the topic of sexual violence against men, and men’s role in helping end sexual violence.
Toward the late 1980’s activists started requesting a week for sexual assault awareness, the National Coalition Against Sexual Assault (NCASA) polled states and it was decided that a week in April would be Sexual Assault Awareness Week. After a few years, state coalitions began holding awareness events all through the month of April, and soon, the U.S. first observed SAAM nationally in April 2001.
Though it may be a touchy subject for some, it’s important to bring awareness to sexual violence given the laundry list of negative statistics. A lot of fear, shame, and regret surrounds being sexual assaulted, it’s important to know you are not alone and you should say something. No one deserves to feel like they are helpless, especially when it comes to their own body. In the end you can help yourself and help others by bringing awareness to this very prevalent issue in our world. Organizations all over the world like RAINN, the NSVRC, the NCASA and so many more were created to be there for women, to give them a safe space to tell their story and be heard.
There is an average of 293,066 victims or rape and sexual assault each year – that’s from ages 12 and up. While this may seem like an extremely jarring number the rate of sexual assault has actually fallen by 49% in recent years. If it weren’t for the progress of all the amazing organizations designed to educate and bring awareness so many more Americans (just Americans!!) would have become victims of sexual violence.
Hey Honey takes these issues to heart, with our own fund benefiting battered women it’s vital to our efforts to spread this awareness and help those who need it. To learn more about SAAM and the importance of sexual assault awareness feel free to visit The NSVRC’s SAAM webpage. Get plenty of facts and find out what you can do to get help or to help empower women and men and put an end to sexual abuse.