Every 2 minutes in the United States someone is raped, leaving 1 out of every 6 American women a victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime. According to the U.S. Department of Justice’s 2007 National Crime Victimization Survey, there were 248,300 victims of rape, attempted rape, or sexual assault…these figures do not include victims 12 years old or younger, for which 15% of sexual assault and rape victims are under age 12.
In the late 1970s women’s groups began to organize protests against violence in England with Take Back the Night marches. These women-only protests emerged in direct response to the violence that women encountered as they walked the streets at night. Following the movement against sexual violence the National Coalition Against Sexual Assault (NCASA) informally polled state sexual assault coalitions to determine when to have a national Sexual Assault Awareness Week in the late 1980′s. Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) was set to raise awareness of sexual violence and increase prevention. Across the country special events will take place over the next month to highlight the use of sexual violence, and its effects as a major public health issue. Much of the events will be hosted with an aim to reinforce the increased need for prevention programs.
The 2011 national Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) campaign’s theme is; “It’s time … to get involved.” The 2011 SAAM campaign explores common, everyday behaviors and offers individuals viable, responsible ways to intervene. Every year one day is designated as day for supporters to rally and take viable action to bring awareness too and prevent sexual assault. This year the SAAM Day of Action will be observed on: Tuesday, April 5, 2011, a day set to specifically focus awareness on sexual violence prevention. The National Sexual Violence Research Center (NSVRC), visit the Community Activities page for ideas on how to observe the day and to post your events on the online calendar.