National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month is observed throughout the month of April. This time is set aside as a special awareness and education month that aims to bring exposure to sexual violence worldwide and educate individuals on how to prevent it. Did you know that every 68 seconds in the U.S., an American is sexually assaulted? Yes, the situation is dire, and this is not just for women; men and children are also equally affected by sexual abuse and assault. So, this National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, let’s take a stand to end this epidemic.
History of National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month
The history of National Sexual Assault Awareness and Education Month can be traced back to the 1970s when activists across the country first began to shed light on sexual assault and violence against women. They fought hard to bring awareness to the widespread problem of sexual assault in the U.S.
In 1971, the first rape crisis center in the U.S., Bay Area Women Against Rape, was opened to provide counseling and advocacy to survivors and to educate the community about the prevention of sexual assault. Over the next few years, many groups emerged to raise their voices against sexual assault, and in 1976, the first ‘Take Back the Night’ rally brought increased awareness to the cause as activists organized more public events. But it was not until 1994 that Congress passed the Violence Against Women Act, the first legislation requiring law enforcement agents to treat domestic violence as a crime, not a private matter.
National Sexual Assault Awareness and Education Month was founded by the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (N.S.V.R.C.) in April 2001. It was started to increase awareness about the menace that is sexual assault and to encourage and empower individuals to take steps to prevent these kinds of assaults and abuses in their communities. The N.S.V.R.C. is the leading non-profit organization providing tools and resources to help individuals and communities prevent sexual violence. The Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) also support a network of more than a thousand rape crisis centers.
National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month timeline
The first rape crisis center opens in Oakland, California.
Congress passes the ‘Violence Against Women Act,’ to protect sexual abuse victims.
The National Sexual Violence Resource Center launches the first National Sexual Assault Awareness and Education Month.
President Obama officially declares April as National Sexual Assault Awareness and Education Month.
National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month FAQs
How many rape crisis centers are there in the U.S.?
There are more than 1,100 RAINN-affiliated rape crisis centers located across the U.S.
Do men experience sexual assault?
According to statistics, around 2.6% of men experience rape in the U.S. at least once in their lifetime. This means over 3 million men report rape during their lifetime.
Does sexual assault incur a fine?
Yes, the estimated lifetime financial loss of an individual due to rape is $122,461. This includes medical costs, the loss of productivity, criminal justice costs, and other associated costs.
How to Observe National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month
Spread awareness about sexual assault in your community. Educate those in your circle of influence about the evils of sexual assault, how to prevent it, and where to get help for victims.
Volunteer your time and expertise
There are several organizations out there making a change in this world by advocating for better laws regarding sexual assault, and counseling survivors. You can volunteer or donate your time and money to this good cause.
Attend an event
During the month of April, there will be many rallies such as the Take Back the Night rally or other public events honoring National Sexual Assault Awareness and Education Month. Attend these to show your support.
5 Facts About Sexual Assault
Women are the most affected
One in five American women has experienced rape or assault at one point in their life.
Men are victims too
One in 67 men in the U.S. has experienced rape or attempted rape in their life.
Perpetrators are rarely caught
Only five out of every 1000 perpetrators end up in prison; others roam free.
A disturbing fact about sexual assault
Most sexual assaults happen at or near the victim’s home, often by people they know.
Only a few cases are reported
The majority of sexual assault cases, especially rape, are not reported.
Why National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month is Important
It thrashes a social emergency
Sexual harassment and assault have become so rampant that they would typically be expected in online behavior. This holiday brings awareness to the issue, inspiring people to work toward eliminating it.
It educates us
On National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, we learn more about how to prevent sexual assault and domestic violence and support survivors. We can share this knowledge with others.
It is aimed at bringing change
National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, which is aimed at bringing change, gives us the perfect opportunity to take a stand against sexual assault and abuse. Together we can make a difference.
National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month dates