April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, otherwise known as SAAM. A very serious issue, sexual assault affects everyone regardless of age, gender, orientation, class or race; sadly, almost 1 in 2women and 1 in 5 men have experienced sexual violence at some point in their lives. We, at the Campaign For Youth Justice, whole heartedly urge you to start a dialogue with those around you during the month about sexual violence. A key part to elimnating sexual violence from society is acknowledging that it can and does happen. Leading statisticians agree that the numbers on sexual violence underestimate the problem because many victims do not tell the police, family, or friends about the violence.
The roots of the movement can be traced back to the late 1970’s England and the “TakeBack The Night” (TBTN) marches. Originally organized as a reaction to events of violence perpetrated against women on the streets of English cities, these female-only protests found their way over to America in 1978. As the movement grew, coordinators sought out a month to pay special attention raise special awareness about violence done to women; eventually members of the movement coalesced around the idea of selecting October to be the month to focus on violence against women issues. Slowly October became the focus of Domestic Violence Awareness activities. Advocates of sexual assault awareness soon sought another month to highlight the issues surrounding sexual assault arriving on this month, April.
For more information having to do with youths and for youths about sexual assault please visit the SAAM page on the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) website. There you will find videos, statistics and more resources about the Sexual Assault Awareness month campaign.