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April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Sexual assault is a pervasive issue in our communities. It does not exist in isolation but, rather is part of a larger context and culture of violence in the United States and around the globe.

This April Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), the New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NYSCADV) is reminded that the social and cultural norms that allow sexual assault and gender based violence to thrive exist in a broader context of institutionalized and systemic racism, misogyny, and white supremacy.

SAAM arrives during a time when our communities are still reeling from the attack and murder of Asian women in Atlanta, Georgia underscoring the need to amplify our efforts to address these systemic, and intersecting, oppressive structures. In a survey conducted by the CDC, in the U.S., approximately 1 in 5 women (19.1% or an estimated 22,992,000 women) experienced rape at some point in life and 1 in 3 women experience sexual violence in their lifetime [1]. The CDC also found “more than 1 in 3 women and more than 1 in 4 men in the United States have experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime”[2].

Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) are uniquely vulnerable to sexual violence and experience higher rates. In the same survey conducted by the CDC, half of multiracial women in the U.S. (49.5%), 45.6% of American Indian/Alaska Native women, 35.5% of Black women, 26.9% of Hispanic women, and 22.9% of Asian/Pacific Islander women experienced some form of contact sexual violence during their lifetime, compared to 38.9% of White women [1].

NYSCADV remains committed to working alongside our sister coalitions, the New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault and the Seven Dancers Coalition, and our state partners and allies to address and prevent sexual assault in our communities.

Throughout SAAM, NYSCADV will be engaging in virtual activities to show support and increase public awareness and education. Want to get involved? Here are some things you can do to show your support:

For more information on SAAM and ideas to show your support, check out these resources below:

  • New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault (NYSCASA): NYSCASA is non-profit coalition of community-based rape crisis programs located throughout New York State whose mission is to end all forms of sexual violence and exploitation, and to address the impacts of sexual assault. Be sure to keep an eye on NYSCASA's website calendar and social media to learn about SAAM events happening across New York State and the nation! http://www.nyscasa.org
  • Seven Dancers Coalition: A New York State based nonprofit coalition whose mission is to uplift the families of Indigenous Communities by educating and restoring traditional values with the purpose of strengthening self-confidence and dignity. http://www.sevendancerscoalition.com/
  • National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC): NSVRC is commemorating 20th Sexual Assault Awareness Month with the theme “We can build online safe spaces.” Sexual harassment, assault, and abuse can happen anywhere, including in online spaces. As we connect online, we can learn how to practice digital consent, intervene when we see harmful content or behaviors, and ensure that online spaces — whether they be workspaces, classrooms, social media platforms, or otherwise — are respectful and safe. https://www.nsvrc.org/saam
  • Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN): RAINN is the nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization. RAINN created and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800.656.HOPE, online.rainn.org, and rainn.org/es) in partnership with more than 1,000 local sexual assault service providers across the country. During SAAM, RAINN asks individuals and communities across the country to engage with this issue by learning more about sexual violence, sharing information, bringing the community together, volunteering, and donating. https://www.rainn.org/saapm
  • STOP SV: A Technical Package to Prevent Sexual Violence: A resource developed by the Centers for Disease Control to help communities take advantage of the best available evidence to prevent sexual violence. https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/SV-Prevention-Technical-Package.pdf

References

[1] Center for Disease Control and National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (CDC). 2017. The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey: 2010-2012 State Report. Available: https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/NISVS-StateReportBook.pdf 

[2] Center for Disease Control and National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (CDC). 2011. The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey: 2010 Summary Report. Available: https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/nisvs_report2010-a.pdf