Spring into Activism for SAAM

The second week of Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) is here, and it’s no time to lose momentum. Especially since for the first time, International Anti-street Harassment Week (April 7-13) is a part of SAAM. Have you made the connection between street harassment and sexual violence? The “Talk early, talk often” blog series explored this in a guest post from Holly Kearl on talking to children and young adults about sexual harassment. Over at the Stop Street Harassment blog, I contributed a guest post on the topic of why we need to Meet change in the streets.

While we are making connections, April is also Child Abuse Prevention Month. This is always a relevant connection as sexual violence starts young. According to NISVS, most female victims of completed rape experienced their first rape before the age of 25 and almost half experienced their first completed rape before age 18. Over one-quarter of male victims of completed rape experienced their first rape at or before the age of 10 (Black, et al., 2011). This year, it’s even more fitting as the theme of the SAAM 2013 campaign is healthy childhood sexual development. The tagline “Talk early, talk often” demonstrates how adults can be partners in preventing child sexual abuse, and the involvement of adults is key to all child abuse prevention. The SAAM 2013 campaign resources are great tools in inspire this conversation, including our latest video.

 
 
April really is an eventful month, and there are infinite ways to connect the dots between related causes and projects or highlight activities that support sexual violence prevention. From Earth Day to National Poetry Month, let’s get creative in how we share, celebrate and participate in SAAM. (Spring into action, anyone!?) 
 
Here are some other noteworthy April observances:
 
Get Yourself Tested (GYT) is an empowering campaign for STD/STI awareness month. This reminds me of a great “Talk early, talk often” post on the importance of parent involvement in sexuality education
 
Autism Acceptance Month is a celebration of Autistic culture and community. Eliminating disparities in sexual health information and access to persons with developmental disabilities is key to sexual violence prevention. Be an advocate for healthy sexuality by sharing tools and resources like 10 Ten Tips for Talking about Sexuality with Your Child Who Has Developmental Disabilities
 
For National Crime Victim’s Rights Week (April  21-27) join us in promoting victims’ rights and honoring crime victims and those who advocate on their behalf. This year’s theme is “New challenges, new solutions,” and I love how this speaks to the innovation necessary in moving our work forward
 
What are we missing? Let us know about April or upcoming projects/campaigns that connect to sexual violence prevention. 

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