National leaders usher in Sexual Assault Awareness Month

March 31, 2014
Laura Palumbo, Prevention Campaign Specialist
National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC)
(877) 739-3895, Ext. 128; Email

ENOLA, Pa. — Each April, the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) launches a national campaign for Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) that educates communities and individuals on how to prevent sexual violence. This year’s prevention campaign coincides with the 20th anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act. NSVRC aims to curb violence before it starts, so that is why this year’s SAAM campaign, “It’s Time … to talk about it! Your voice. Our future. Prevent sexual violence,” focuses on healthy sexuality and young people.

Sexual violence is a widespread, public health problem that impacts one in six boys and one in four girls (Dube et
al., 2005). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals that one in five female victims and one
in seven male victims who ever experience rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner were first
victimized between the ages of 11 and 17 years old (Breiding, Chen, & Black, 2014).

The campaign underscores national efforts to eliminate sexual violence and is supported by President Barack
Obama. “The Nation has made meaningful progress toward addressing sexual assault. Where victims were once
left without recourse, laws have opened a path to safety and justice; where a culture of fear once kept violence
hidden, survivors are more empowered to speak out and get help. But even today, too many women, men, and
children suffer alone or in silence, burdened by shame or unsure anyone will listen. This month, we recommit to
changing that tragic reality by stopping sexual assault before it starts and ensuring victims get the support they
need” (Obama, 2013).

SAAM 2014 engages adults in supporting positive youth development, and encourages young people to be
activists for change. In addition to monthlong events across the country, the SAAM “Day of Action,” on Tuesday,
April 1, will highlight nationally coordinated ways people can get involved in-person and online.
For resources and information, visit Spanish-language materials also are available at

Founded by the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape in 2000, the National Sexual
Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) develops and disseminates resources regarding all aspects of sexual violence
prevention and intervention.

Breiding, M. J., Chen J., & Black, M. C. (2014). Intimate partner violence in the United States — 2010. Retrieved from the National Center for Injury Prevention and
Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

Dube, S. R., Anda, R. F., Whitfield, C.L., Brown, D. L., Felitti, V. J., Dong, M., & Giles, W. H. (2005). Long-term consequences of childhood sexual abuse by gender of
victim. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 28, 430–438. doi:10.1016/j.amepre.2005.01.015

Obama, B. (2013). Presidential proclamation: National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, 2013. Retrieved from


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