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National Speak Up for Victims of Sexual Abuse Day – October 18, 2023

National Speak Up for Victims of Sexual Abuse Day is observed on October 18 every year. This day is dedicated to raising awareness about the horrors of sexual abuse. Men, women, and children, anyone can be a victim of sexual assault. While it’s common for sexual abuse to go unreported, victims suffer greatly as a result. Acknowledging these victims and helping them in opening up about their experiences promotes healing. This day is an essential part of a larger effort to support all victims of sexual abuse.

History of National Speak Up for Victims of Sexual Abuse Day

National Speak Up for Victims of Sexual Abuse Day first appeared on the calendar in October 2021 and was created in honor of a young woman named Jack Nunnery, a victim of sexual assault.

She has been instrumental in the establishment of this day. Her mission, called “Speak Up,” provides sexual abuse victims a platform to speak up about their experiences, which encourages healing. This day intends to provide support to people who have faced sexual abuse of any sort.

Many people face confusion regarding the meaning of sexual abuse. Regardless of the offender’s relationship with the victim, sexual violence can be defined as any sex act or attempt to obtain a sexual act by coercion, act to sell a person, or act targeted against a person’s sexuality. Sexual abuse takes place at all socio-economic levels and cultures.

This day is about providing victims with a constructive support system to empower them and bring awareness to such cases that occur all over the world. This day encourages survivors to open up to their loved ones about their traumas. The day contributes considerably to bringing awareness and providing a voice for those who have been victimized. As a result, honoring this day as a significant milestone is necessary to make progress toward the goal of an abuse-free society.

National Speak Up for Victims of Sexual Abuse Day timeline

1994
The Hotline is Established

The National Sexual Assault Hotline operated by Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network or R.A.I.N.N. is established in June.

2000
The Resource Center is Created

The non-profit center is created in July to educate the public about avoiding and dealing with sexual abuse,

2002
The Polaris Project Hotline

Polaris, a non-profit organization dedicated to ending modern slavery and assisting the victims of human trafficking, starts the trafficking hotline.

2021
The Day is Founded

National Speak Up for Victims of Sexual Abuse Day is founded.

National Speak Up for Victims of Sexual Abuse Day FAQs

How can one determine if they have been sexually assaulted?

Any non-consensual or forced sexual act to which you are subjected constitutes sexual assault. Inappropriate behaviors such as grooming, forced kissing, upskirting, and sexual jokes come under sexual abuse.

How can one know if one has been raped?

Rape means having sex without permission. If you didn’t consent to intercourse, you may have been raped, whether or not you were intoxicated, sleepy, or under the influence of drugs or alcohol. It holds even if it is with a long-term partner or spouse.

Is it relevant how long ago I was raped or assaulted?

No. It’s usual for people to remember events that happened a long time ago. Just because something happened a long time ago doesn’t lessen its impact.

How to Observe National Speak Up for Victims of Sexual Abuse Day

  1. Wear teal

    Teal, which has been recognized as the color of support for sexual abuse victims, should be worn to support abuse victims. Adorn yourself in teal on this day to show your support.

  2. Use social media

    Sharing this special day on social media is a great way to spread awareness and display solidarity with the victims. It will also encourage other people to follow.

  3. Share your story

    If you have faced abuse, you can share your story. You can also encourage victims to share their stories.

5 Important Facts About Sexual Abuse

  1. High rate of abuse

    A person faces sexual assault every 73 seconds in the U.S.

  2. Women are at high risk

    Around 20% of American women have faced full or attempted rape at some point in their lives.

  3. Risk of suicide

    Compared to those who have not been victims of crime, survivors of sexual assault are 13 times more likely to commit suicide.

  4. Chronic issues

    Around four out of five rape victims develop lasting physical or psychological troubles.

  5. Fear of further assault

    As per reports, around 42 % of women raped, face the risk of being raped again.

Why National Speak Up for Victims of Sexual Abuse Day is Important

  1. Empowerment

    Survivors benefit from the support provided by others. Most victims choose to remain silent out of fear of victim-blaming, cultural misunderstanding, family retaliation, and lack of timely justice. With our kind words and effective actions, we can make survivors realize that they are well-supported and that their fortitude is commendable.

  2. Helps in rehabilitation

    This day can help people make significant strides toward rehabilitation. An important aspect of recovering from sexual trauma is the ability to talk openly about the incident. As a result, abuse victims can make good progress with their recovery.

  3. Making the subject less taboo

    The stigma associated with sexual abuse can be reduced if we normalize holding open discussions about sexual violence, which is a serious issue that needs to be better understood by our society.

National Speak Up for Victims of Sexual Abuse Day dates

YearDateDay
2023October 18Wednesday
2024October 18Friday
2025October 18Saturday
2026October 18Sunday
2027October 18Monday

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