April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

By Devon White

Image c/o Flickr.com


The month of April marks the  Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) national campaign. The primary goal of SAAM is to raise awareness and educate the public about the realities of sexual violence. According to the SAAM website, the 2011 campaign will explore “common, everyday behaviors and offers individuals viable, responsible ways to intervene.” Since early intervention can reduce the number of sexual violence victimizations and consequences, preventative education is essential for advocates, bystanders and those at risk.

Throughout the month of April, the UMKC Violence & Prevention Response Project will be promoting SAAM with a variety of informative events and resources. If you’re looking to get involved or want to learn more about sexual assault prevention, here are a few important dates that you should mark on your calendar:

Take Back the Night: Wednesday, April 20th – Join us for the sixth annual Take Back the Night march and rally, an event designed to unify women, men, and children in an awareness of violence against women, children, and families. This proactive event is sponsored by the UMKC Violence Prevention and Response Project.

Sexual Assault Awareness Month Information Tables: Thursday, April 28th – The VPR team will be at the Health Sciences Building with information about sexual assault, how to deal with it, or help a friend deal with it. There will also be information about campus and community resources available. Check it out!

Denim Day Display, Thursday, April 21st & Denim Day: Thursday, April 28th – This sexual violence prevention and education campaign, asks everyone to make a social statement with their fashion by wearing jeans as a visible means of protest against the misconceptions surrounding sexual assault. To learn more about the origins of Denim Day, visit the national campaign website.

These SAAM event dates may be set in stone, but the work to end sexual violence is an ongoing effort that involves policy makers, victim advocates and community-based support. If you’re looking for more ways on how you can get involved visit: UMKC’s Violence & Prevention Response Project and the SAAM official website.