How to Participate in Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Posted by Shelley Kilpatrick on 12 April 2016 |

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sexual assault prevention monthApril is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. It’s a time for higher education institutions to raise awareness and educate their communities on how to prevent sexual assault.

According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC), it all started back in the 1970s when women in England started protesting the violence they encountered as they walked the streets at night. This was known as “Take Back the Night.”

Soon after, the movement spread across the globe and began to include men and the violence they suffered, in addition to the important role men play as allies in the fight.

In 2001, April was officially declared Sexual Assault Prevention Month, and teal was designated the official color. The most recent campaigns have taken on primary prevention topics such as health sexuality and bystander intervention, with this year’s theme being “prevention is possible.”

So to help you get an idea of what your campus can do to raise awareness and participate, we’ve put together a short list of ideas.

Spread the Message

One of the easiest ways to show support is to spread the message. You can use your campus’ website to link to your resources for sexual assault survivors or awareness events happening around campus.

You can also use social media to keep students engaged in the conversation. For some examples of what to say or who to follow, check out our Twitter account.

Additionally, you can put up posters promoting bystander intervention, create public service announcement style videos, and add a teal ribbon to your website.

Another way to spread the message is through sexual assault prevention training. You can use it to show students how they can help prevent sexual assault:

  • Ways they can safely intervene as bystanders.
  • The consequences of excessive drinking.
  • How to obtain consent for sexual activity.
  • Where to find additional help and more resources.

Host an Event

Another way to create awareness is through events on campus. Events can take many different forms including:

  • Hosting a men’s group to educate about allyship.
  • Showing a movie, such as “The Hunting Ground.”
  • Bringing in a speaker to come talk about their experiences.
  • Throwing a concert with local musicians to raise awareness.
  • Displaying student artwork to expresses their healing process.
  • Organizing a walk or run to support survivors.

Whatever your campus does, make sure that the event is designed to help educate students about sexual assault and why prevention is so important.

Set up Booths

Set up booths or stations all over campus to distribute promotional items and information to students. Give away t-shirts, teal ribbons, stickers, and more so that students can show their support for Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

But also use the booths as a place for students to ask questions about the issues they are facing or about things they might not understand. For example, students might want clarification on your school’s definition of consent, or they might want to know the procedure for filing a complaint.

Keep It Going All Year Long

April is only one month, but sexual assault happens all year long. That’s why your campus’ campaign to prevent sexual assault should be all year long too. Because if you don’t reach someone in April, hopefully, your efforts will pay off months later.

It also shows students—and the community at large—that your campus takes sexual assault prevention seriously and has made a commitment to stop it from happening at your school.

Conclusion

Sharing your message, hosting events and setting up an information booth are some of the ways that your campus can participate in Sexual Assault Prevention Month. So now we would like to hear from you. If you have any other ideas, please share them in the comments below!

To learn more about our Student Empower training, a suite of sexual violence prevention courses designed for all higher education students, request a demo today.

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