We mark SAAM Day of Action every first Tuesday in April and this year it will be held on April 2. Observed as part of the wider Sexual Assault Awareness Month (S.A.A.M), this special Day of Action aims to raise awareness about sexual assault and educate people on useful ways to prevent its occurrence. The annual theme of SAAM Day of Action is chosen by the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (N.S.V.R.C), which also organizes events targeted toward education and awareness of sexual violence. Reflecting the world’s growing dependence on technology, the themes in recent years focus on sexual assault prevention in online spaces.
History of SAAM Day of Action
In 2004, the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (N.S.V.R.C) began observing the SAAM Day of Action. The mission of the center is — “To provide leadership in preventing and responding to sexual violence through collaborating, sharing and creating resources, and promoting research.” Their vision is — “A world where diversity is celebrated and all people are treated with dignity and respect and have full autonomy over their bodies and sexual expression.”
SAAM Day of Action aims to tackle the problems of sexual assault, abuse and harassment long before they occur, as well as provide support to survivors. Sexual assault is any type of sexual activity or contact that is performed without obtaining consent. Examples of sexual assault are rape, attempted rape, sexual coercion, unwanted touching or fondling, and so on. It also involves non-physical acts, such as showing a person sexual images without their consent. Sexual assault is a serious crime that must be dealt with.
It often has devastating, long-term effects on survivors, such as anger, denial, nightmares, shame, fear, depression, guilt, rationalization, mood swings, numbness, promiscuity, loneliness, social anxiety, lack of trust, as well as a post-traumatic stress disorder. It is, therefore, glaringly obvious that survivors of sexual assault deserve support and understanding, as opposed to censure, stigmatization, and victim-blaming. They also require therapy and counseling to help them receive much-needed treatment and healing.
SAAM Day of Action timeline
In the case of “Williams v. Saxbe”, the U.S District Court in Columbia recognizes quid pro quo sexual harassment as a type of gender-based discrimination.
The N.S.V.R.C is founded by the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape.
The N.S.V.R.C begins observing Sexual Awareness Month in April.
SAAM Day of Action is observed by the N.S.V.R.C for the first time.
SAAM Day of Action FAQs
Who is the leader of the N.S.V.R.C?
The Executive Director of the N.S.V.R.C is Yolanda Edrington.
Where is the N.S.V.R.C located?
The N.S.V.R.C is located in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, though it has a widespread impact.
What is the punishment for rape in the U.S.?
Depending on whether the trial falls under State or Federal law, the punishment for rape ranges from one year to life imprisonment.
How to Observe SAAM Day of Action
Teal is the official color of sexual violence prevention. Wear teal to show that you stand against all forms of sexual violence and to show support for survivors.
Attend an event
Attend a SAAM event and invite a friend along. Most events are virtually streamed so you can attend from wherever you are.
Spread the word
Social media is a powerful tool for societal change. Use your online voice to speak up against sexual assault and stand in solidarity with brave survivors.
Why We Love
Sexual assault against women
More than a third of all women have experienced some form of sexual violence.
Sexual assault against men
Over a quarter of all men have experienced some form of sexual violence.
Inmates experience sexual violence
Every year over 80,000 inmates experience sexual violence while in prison.
Children are vulnerable
Every year, over 60,000 children experience sexual violence.
Rapists often aren’t strangers
About 80% of rapes are committed by someone who is known to the victim.
Why SAAM Day of Action is Important
Day of Action provides useful resources
SAAM Day provides helpful resources to educate people about sexual assault prevention. These tools are helpful to stem and curb the horrible menace of sexual assault in society.
Day of Action provides support
Survivors of sexual assault are incredibly strong and brave individuals who could use support from others. This day is a reminder that no matter what the circumstances might have been, they are not at fault, and neither should they be ashamed.
Day of Action is an instrument of change
This day is one step toward bringing about societal change, especially with regard to people’s response to sexual assault. It addresses the issues surrounding victim-blaming and stigmatization, enforcing the fact that perpetrators of sexual crimes are the ones deserving of censure and punishment.
SAAM Day of Action dates