April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM)
What Can I do to prevent sexual violence?
We can all act to stop sexual violence before it has a chance to happen by addressing root causes and social norms that allow it to exist. We can all make a difference. Here’s how:
- Intervene to stop concerning behaviors
Step in when you see a friend drinking/smoking too much and potentially at risk for being taken advantage of.
Everyone has a role in naming and stopping situations that could lead to sexual violence before it happens. Learn how to safely act as an engaged bystander.
- Speak up when you hear rape jokes or harmful comments
Speak up when you hear a friend say things like “she was asking for it.”
Each of us has the opportunity to challenge ideas and behaviors that support sexual violence.
- Promote and model healthy attitudes and relationships
Treat others the way you want to be treated.
Empower others by respecting boundaries. Everyone has the right to set limits, feel safe, and get support. Learn more about healthy relationships.
- Believe survivors when they disclose
When a friend tells you he/she was sexually assaulted, let the only question you ask be, “how can I help?”
Victims are never to blame. What we do and say about sexual violence matters. Find organizations that are here to help.
- Coordinate a community event to raise awareness
Start a campus discussion group to help others learn more, too.
By creating such spaces in our communities, we can promote shared responsibility for preventing sexual violence. Plan an event in your community.
- Email legislators about ways everyone can get involved
Contact your representative in support of your local rape crisis center.
It’s important emphasize the value of prevention and victim services to leaders at all levels.
- Create prevention policies at your workplace or school
Contact your employer to recommend proactive policies and training on sexual harassment.
Communities can create and strengthen policies to promote safety, equality, and respect. Find ways to activate your community in fighting oppression and developing prevention strategies. View sample a workplace policy.
- Support businesses that promote healthy messages through their marketing campaigns
Choose to patronize local businesses like these, and ask them to display information about your local rape crisis center.
As a consumer, you can look for companies with advertising content, relationships with clients and consumers, and policies that align with prevention.