The current pandemic and stay at home order show us how our actions impact each other and our community. From home, we are keeping our family, friends, neighbors, and community healthy and safe. While at home, we can also keep our community safe from sexual violence.
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). The National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) is highlighting the importance of consent and spreading awareness on these issues. 1 in 3 women and 1 in 6 men have experienced the trauma of sexual assault in their lives, and the rise of the #MeToo moment brought many sexual assault survivors and allies together to share influential stories and bring more awareness to the prevalence of sexual assault.
The Advocates’ Every Teen Counts (ETC) Interns, a group of teen activists joined NSVRC in recognizing SAAM. Each week, this group of teens from all over the valley meets for two hours to discuss consent, teen dating violence prevention, and to promote healthy relationships. One of the ways we supported SAAM was by watching the documentary Roll Red Roll, which is about a teen girl who was sexually assaulted at a high school party. This film was powerful for me because it touches on so many aspects of high school social life: alcohol, peer pressure, sports culture, masculinity, and dating violence. After watching the film, we discussed these topics, what we see here in our valley, and how we can prevent sexual assault in our valley. We have also promoted SAAM with daily Instagram posts spreading awareness about sexual assault.
Although SAAM is coming to an end, sexual assault prevention is a continuous process. Sexual assault happens in every community and affects people of all ages, races, genders, and sexualities. By advocating for and trusting victims, holding perpetrators responsible, and stimulating healthy relationships, we can prevent sexual assault. Here’s what we can do every day to end sexual assault in our community: Get involved, learn about the myths and realities of sexual assault, talk with your family and friends about the importance of consent, and learn how to support survivors. Help us spread the message that sexual assault prevention is possible.
About The Advocates for Survivors of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault
The Advocates is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit with the mission to teach people of all ages how to build and maintain healthy relationships. This is accomplished through education, shelter, and support services. The Advocates provides more than 30 free, essential services in English and Spanish, 24 hours a day, including a staffed shelter, crisis intervention, safety planning, support groups, legal assistance and prevention education in the schools. Vital funding support is realized through the Annual Fund drive, The Attic Store, the Black & White Soiree, and public and private foundation grants. For more information, call The Advocates at 208-788-4191 or www.theadvocatesorg.org.