April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month
By Michael Farhi, Esq.
This is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The mission is to raise awareness about sexual violence around the world, and to educate on how to prevent it. The term “sexual assault” is a large umbrella and includes all of the following:
- Unwanted sexual contact of any other form
- Sexual harassment
- Child Sexual Abuse
- Sexual violence, even with an intimate partner
- Sexual exploitation
- Human trafficking
If you, or anyone you know is experiencing any of these, or experiences them in the future, call the police or click here for the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline. Sexual assault is a crime and is not something that should ever be taken lightly. Do not be afraid to speak out if this happens to you.
In April, and every month to follow, people across the country are encouraged to use their voices to show support for survivors, and speak out if they have experienced sexual assault themselves. One month isn’t enough time to solve this terrible problem, but it’s a start.
- Nearly 1 in 5 women in the United States have experienced rape (or attempted rape) at one point in their lives.
- 1 in 67 men in the United States have experienced rape (or attempted rape) at one point in their lives.
- Every 98 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted.
- Only 5 out of every 1,000 perpetrators will end up in prison (which is why it is so important to speak out if this happens to you).
- The majority of sexual assaults happen at or near the victim’s home, often by someone they know, and/or trust.
- Health care is 16% higher for women who were sexually abused as children.
- 63% of sexual assaults are not reported.
Use #SAAM, #SexualAssaultAwarenessMonth, or #SexualAssaultAwareness to post on social media. Use your voice and any platform you have to spread the word to end sexual assault in the U.S., and all over the world. Another way to participate this month is to wear the color teal to honor survivors and keep the conversation going.
Tiffany Kaszuba, former congressional candidate and founder of The NJ Violet (an organization creating the space to tell the real stories of women in New Jersey politics) has been vocal about the subject of violence against women in politics. She encourages the public to support survivors both in and out of the political arena. “When a survivor of sexual assault chooses to speak out, they understand the personal risks they are taking more than we ever will. We can help relieve that burden and create a safer society for everyone by supporting them in their efforts to be heard.”
Sexual assault is an horrific problem, but the good news is that prevention is possible, and it’s happening more and more. By ending the stigma and continuing support and awareness programs, we can slowly but surely lower the amount of sexual assaults that occur every year.