What is SAAM?
Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) is a month-long, annual campaign each April to raise awareness about sexual violence, educate communities and individuals on how to prevent it, and bolster prevention efforts throughout the year. KCSARC participates in this campaign each year, standing with organizations nationwide to highlight sexual violence as a public health, human rights and social justice issue and to reinforce the need for prevention efforts.
This year’s theme, “Let’s Build Safe Online Spaces Together,” focuses on practicing consent online and building respectful online communities. Abuse and harassment that starts or takes place entirely online, through devices and screens, can cause real harm and should be taken seriously. Studies show young people are most vulnerable to online harassment and abuse.
The same strategies proven effective in preventing sexual assault and reducing risk for young people also work to prevent and reduce risk from abusive behavior online.
Let’s get going!
Below, literary artist Lashaunycee O’Cain has a powerful call to action for all of us. We’re inspired by her poem and spoken word performance of “This Home is Ours, Not to Wreck” and hope you are, too.
Please consider sharing with people you know and invite them to join in this month of awareness and action.
What is online sexual abuse?
Online sexual abuse can take many forms, from receiving unwanted intimate photos or having your images shared without your consent, to harassing or stalking someone through devices or social media.
Online platforms allow users the ability to share and re-share comments, information, images, and videos worldwide, which increases the potential for widespread visibility and trauma. Online interactions like these can take place with anyone; from acquaintances and strangers to friends and family members.
It’s important to remember that abuse that starts or takes place entirely online or through technology can leave lasting scars. Stress and trauma that stems from online sexual abuse can be terrifying and debilitating. Victims often feel shame, guilt, anxiety, sadness, numbness, depression, or withdrawal. These can translate to issues such as sleep difficulty and nightmares, PTSD, and the inability to concentrate, which can severely affect personal interactions, school or job performance, and quality of life.
Ways to get involved during SAAM 2022
Make April 5 a day of action
- Join KCSARC’s ESSERE FORTE Club
- Show survivors you support them by wearing teal, the color of sexual violence prevention
- Post on social media to spread awareness and information. Follow and share our posts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. Or, choose one of our pre-made graphics and messages from our SAAM toolkit to share on your feed throughout the month.
Resources for learning and sharing
that can make a difference during SAAM — and beyond:
- Know where to find help in your community about sexual violence. For immediate help or information, our 24-hour Resource Line is available. Or find more information and resources here.
- Read up and share some of KCSARC’s resources with your network:
- Stay updated on news, events, resources and more by joining our e-News list
Thank you to King County and cities that proclaim April is
Sexual Assault Awareness Month!
Don’t see your city here? Check back throughout the month as we add additional cities who are joining our campaign to the list.
Lake Forest Park