National Eating Disorder Awareness Week

National Eating Disorder Awareness Week logoSexual Assault Awareness Month, AKA SAAM, plays well with others. Here at the SAAM blog we’re always excited to have the opportunity to highlight other relevant topics and campaigns. This week is National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, and it’s an important time to continue to raise awareness of the impact of eating disorders and make connections to our work in sexual violence.

Eating disorders are complex conditions characterized by extreme attitudes and behaviors surrounding weight and food. Eating disorders, such as anorexia, bulimia and binge eating disorder, can affect anyone at any age. These illnesses impact mental, emotional and physical wellness.

Although there is still a lot to learn about what causes eating disorders and effective prevention, research points to a connection between sexual violence, trauma and disordered eating. Understanding this connection can support sexual violence prevention efforts and enhance trauma-informed support for survivors.  Learning about eating disorders is relevant to the communities we serve, and as advocates to end sexual violence this understanding is vital to self-care as trauma and survivorship are often a part our daily conversations and lives.

It’s also important to recognize the connection between various forms of oppression as we work toward social change. NSVRC’s special collection Exploring the links: Eating Disorders & Sexual Violence is a great place to learn more about this connection. For National Eating Disorder Awareness WEEK, NEDA encourages that everyone can do one thing. It’s true, we can all play a role in promoting awareness and prevention. Here are some ideas for how you can get involved.

5 Ideas to Support National Eating Disorder Awareness Week

Use your voice to challenge misconceptions about eating disorders and provide accurate information.  

Share resources and information to reduce stigma for those struggling with disordered eating.

Celebrate recovery and highlight opportunities for support in eating disorder recovery. There is always help and hope.  

Start critical conversations about body image and media literacy to challenge unrealistic expectations and promote positive self-worth.

Call attention to diverse voices and underrepresented communities who face additional barriers in the struggle against disordered eating. 

Please add your ideas in a comment below.