Sexual Assault Awareness

The month of April is National Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). During the past month, we were energized to see awareness of sexual violence and assault being elevated across Kansas, the U.S., and the world – even amid the pandemic.

This year, SAAM celebrated its 19th anniversary with the theme “I Ask.” Consent is a clear, concrete example of what we can each individually do and encourage others to do. Consent all the time, every time, and enthusiastically without coercion and pressure throughout does not allow room for sexual assault. One of this year’s main campaign messages is that asking for consent is normal and necessary. The goal of the campaign is to empower all of us to put consent into practice.

To combat victim blaming, we would like to cover some basics, statistics, and facts: Sexual assault can happen to anyone – regardless of gender, age, race, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, or ability. In the U.S., about 1 in 3 women and 1 in 6 men have experienced sexual assault, and 1 in 5 women and 1 in 71 men have experienced rape. In Kansas, victim advocacy programs regularly serve at least 4,500 victims of sexual assault each year. This is the amount of Kansans who indicated sexual violence was their primary victimization upon seeking help.

In 2018, one incident of rape was reported to Kansas law enforcement every 6 hours, 29 minutes, and 37 seconds. Although this frequency is way too high, sexual assault is still among the most underreported crimes for a variety of reasons – most of which do not just put the responsibility on victims to report. Victim-blaming and rape culture are to blame. We can change our response to victims and survivors, give victims and survivors the space and agency to speak up about the violence inflicted upon them, and implement victim-centered and trauma-informed policies that create safer environments and better help our communities and those in need.

Your Action Matters
Your leadership and action are more important than you think. The impact of participating in community events, sexual assault awareness activities and education, and exploration and implementation of policies prioritizes your community’s well-being and shows support for victims and survivors. You might be surprised at how these actions provide meaningful insight and significantly elevate information about resources and services.

Learn about sexual violence. Access KCSDV information and brochures on sexual violence and assault:

There are brochures for print that you are welcome to use at home, at work, and at your organization, agency, or company at https://www.kcsdv.org/learn-more/resources/brochures/general-info/.

Newsletter (PDF)

This project was supported by Grant No. 2019-MU-AX-0021 awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women.

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Last Updated on Jul 24, 2020

 

KANSAS CRISIS HOTLINE: 888-END-ABUSE | 888-363-2287

Last Updated on Jul 24, 2020