Endless April: Keeping up the Conversation
In the thirty days of April 2012, Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) has brought together individuals and communities to raise awareness about sexual violence and educate towards prevention. From exploring the topic of healthy sexuality to declaring SAAM and sharing teal ribbons – April has been eventful!
Throughout the month, headlines and social media lifted the topic of sexual violence to the forefront. Events, activities and local programs declared the prevalence of sexual assault. Institutions and campuses examined the reality of sexual assault and the safety of their community environments. Proclamations we made on the community, state and national level. Individuals were recognized for their dedicated efforts to end sexual violence. Communities stood together in support of survivors and in protest of rape culture.
During April, we hear a resounding cry of commitment to long-term efforts to eliminate sexual violence. All of these efforts aide us in proclaiming, “It’s time… to talk about it!” It is an amazing time. The culture of shame and silence surrounding sexual violence is challenged by dialogue.
But there is this tiny part of healing that can’t be ignored. Whether you are talking about scrapes, lives, or culture – healing is a process. Healing happens over time, and when we talk about the need for social change, this too requires time. The prevention of sexual violence requires consistent attention and ongoing, proactive efforts. The rich dialogue, awareness and involvement of SAAM are resources that must outlive April. As long as sexual violence still exists, it’s still time to talk about it.
How do we keep at this conversation? For those interested in continuing the task of sexual violence prevention, you are not alone in this mission and there are many resources available to learn more and connect with others.
Part of building an ongoing conversation is hearing from you! We want to know your SAAM successes, share creative ideas and hear your feedback. Tell us – how do you plan to make for an endless April?