While preventing sexual violence and providing support for survivors should be a focus all year round, April is a month dedicated to raising awareness about the prevalence of sexual assault and available resources for survivors and loved ones.
The statistics are sobering. According to RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), the nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization:
- Sexual violence affects nearly every household in America. Every 98 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted, and every eight minutes a child is sexually abused.
- One in six American women and one in 33 men have experienced sexual violence in their lifetimes.
- On average, there are 321,500 victims (age 12 or older) of rape and sexual assault each year in the United States.
- Only 310 out of every 1,000 sexual assaults are reported to police. That means about 2 out of 3 go unreported.
However, we should not allow these grim statistics to overwhelm us into inaction. There are so many ways we can make a difference. Here are just a few that you can practice, in April and all year long.
Share informative graphics on social media using the hashtags #SAAM #SAAPM
- Graphics from RAINN
- Graphics from the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC)
- Social media toolkit from NSVRC
Share these sample Tweets from RAINN using the hashtags #SAAM #SAAPM
Plan an event at your organization or in your community using this planning guide from NSVRC.
Share resources for help
- Alameda County specific resources provided by The Calico Center.
- Survivors and loved ones can also find support in their communities by reaching out to a local sexual assault service provider.
- The National Sexual Assault Hotline is free, confidential, and available 24/7. Survivors of sexual violence and their loved ones can contact the hotline by phone (800.656.HOPE) or chat online (online.rainn.org y en español rainn.org/es) to talk with someone who is trained to help.
- RAINN provides hundreds of articles about recovery, safety, and the criminal justice system at rainn.org (y rainn.org/es).