#SAAM is one of the top hashtags this month, and for good reason. April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), a time for activists, communities, and health organizations from all over the country to raise awareness around preventing sexual violence.
RAINN defines sexual assault as any sexual contact or behavior that occurs without explicit consent of the victim. This can include attempted rape, unwanted touching, or forcing a victim to perform unwanted sexual acts.
In Mississippi, it can be difficult to talk about sex, let alone sexual assault. But while sexual assault is a sensitive topic, it’s an important topic to be discussed because, contrary to popular belief, it happens more often than you’d think. Mississippi ranks 40th when it comes to reported rape incidents, and sexual assault occurs every 68 seconds in America.
SA also doesn’t always look like what you might see on Law & Order SVU. It is often done by someone close to you, and can even occur at home. According to RAINN, 55% of sexual assaults happen at or near a survivor’s home and 48% of the time while survivors were sleeping or performing another activity. Young women, ages 16 to 19 are 4x more likely than the general population to be victims of sexual assault, so getting a clear picture of how and where SA occurs is very important in lowering that rate.
Out of the 2,500 Tweets brandishing #SAAM, we’ve picked out a few that really break the silence surrounding sexual assault and speak to the importance of how using your voice can make a difference. Read on to learn more and for resources you can use to support a survivor, spread awareness, or make an impact.
It’s sexual assault awareness month, and as a victim of it, I will say speaking out loud about it is the best thing I ever done. I kept so many of my stories to myself, I didn’t realize it was the cause of how I was treating and acting towards others and life.
— angelbaby (@Ambriaa_A) April 11, 2023
It’s April again. For those that may not be aware, April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
I share my story because I know it gives other victims the courage to stand. Awareness is so important, because it’s where action starts.
— Emma (@agwithemma) April 4, 2023
It was in the street where cars were passing by and it still happened.
It took me time to process that it wasn’t my fault that I went back from a course by myself because such thing shouldn’t be a normal thing that happened in a place where I felt most protected.
— Nicky (@lanicolecky) April 4, 2023
Where to Learn More
If you or someone you know is in a crisis, call the National Sexual Assault Online Hotline at 800-656-HOPE or chat online with a trained staff member for confidential crisis support.