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National Sexual Assault Awareness Month's Day of Action – April 4, 2023

Sexual Assault Awareness Month’s Day of Action is held yearly on the first Tuesday in April. This year, it is observed on April 4. The day raises awareness about sexual assault. The goal is to prevent sexual assault, harassment, and abuse through education. It is critical to teach consent and comprehend boundaries. The day promotes important tools to help shift cultural views through social media campaigns, events, and more. Throughout the month and beyond, the day offers methods to support victims.

History of National Sexual Assault Awareness Month's Day of Action

Following the broader trend of social activity throughout the decade, the 1970s saw a tremendous increase in prevention and awareness of sexual violence across America. Beyond raising awareness, the Bay Area Women Against Rape created the nation’s first rape crisis center in 1971, providing urgent victim care. Take Back the Night marches have gathered women in an organized protest against rape and sexual abuse since 1976. These activities eventually merged into a movement spread across the U.S. and Europe. As a result of this campaign, more widespread actions to raise awareness about violence against women occurred.

Domestic abuse awareness became the main focus in the early 1980s when campaigners utilized October to raise awareness of violence against women. The National Coalition Against Sexual Assault (N.C.A.S.A.) conducted an informal poll of state sexual assault coalitions in the late 1980s to select the best date for a national Sexual Assault Awareness Week. In the late 1990s, numerous advocates started organizing programs and events throughout April to support the concept of a nationally recognized month for sexual violence awareness and prevention. SAAM was first noticed across the country in April 2001.

The Violence Against Women Act was written and implemented in 1994, bringing together state coalitions, activists, and victims. The National Sexual Violence Resource Center was established in 2000 by the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape and the Centers for Disease Control. The N.S.V.R.C. organized the first official national Sexual Assault Awareness Month campaign in 2001.

National Sexual Assault Awareness Month's Day of Action timeline

1980s
Date Selection

The N.C.A.S.A. conducts an informal poll of state sexual assault coalitions to select the best date for National Sexual Assault Awareness Week.

2001
The SAAM Campaign

The N.S.V.R.C. organizes the first official national Sexual Assault Awareness Month campaign.

2004
The Campaign’s Focus Switches

The focus of the campaign switches to sexual violence prevention.

2009
The SAAM Declaration

The campaign reaches a pinnacle when Barack Obama becomes the first president to declare April as SAAM.

National Sexual Assault Awareness Month's Day of Action FAQs

Are strangers involved in sexual assault?

More than half of raped women mention that the perpetrator was a close friend or family member.

What is the official color of SAAM?

The SAAM’s official color is teal, and the symbol for preventing sexual violence is a teal ribbon.

Who is more likely to be a victim of sexual assault?

Anyone can experience sexual assault, but women are nine times more likely than males to suffer from it.

How to Observe National Sexual Assault Awareness Month's Day of Action

  1. Show online support

    Share social media posts on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to show your support. To share on social media, use the hashtag #SAAMDayOfAction.

  2. Learn about this day

    Take advantage of this day to learn more about sexual violence and assault. Learn about consent and how it works, then share what you've learned.

  3. Go to the N.S.V.R.C. website

    Make time in your calendar to attend one of the many events on this day. For further information, go to the N.S.V.R.C. website.

5 Important Facts About Sexual Assault

  1. Every 73 seconds

    Every 73 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted.

  2. The ratio of sexual violence

    More than a third of women and a quarter of men have experienced sexual violence.

  3. The percentage of rape reports

    About 20% of American women have reported being the victim of a rape, either attempted or successful.

  4. Attempted suicide

    Roughly 13% of women who have been raped attempt suicide.

  5. Sexual assault survivors and drugs

    Survivors of sexual assault are ten times more likely to use heavy drugs.

Why National Sexual Assault Awareness Month's Day of Action is Important

  1. It is an all-inclusive campaign

    The day is not just for women; it is for everyone. Men, women, girls, and boys are all at risk of or have been victims of sexual assault at some point in their life. The day is part of an effort to safeguard everyone from this heinous crime.

  2. It brings attention to an essential topic

    It provides activists and educators with the tools and resources they need to engage their communities in the prevention and education of sexual assault. It emphasizes the significance of permission and boundary respect.

  3. It helps reduce stigma

    Assault victims face a great deal of shame. This day encourages open discussion about sexual assault issues, which can help survivors overcome their feelings of guilt and stigma and urge them to seek assistance and community.

National Sexual Assault Awareness Month's Day of Action dates

YearDateDay
2022April 5Tuesday
2023April 4Tuesday
2024April 2Tuesday
2025April 1Tuesday
2026April 7Tuesday

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