Every April, U.S. state and community-based organizations plan events and activities to highlight the health, safety, human rights and social justice issues sexual violence causes in our communities, and reinforce the need for prevention. The grassroots Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) movement calls attention to the fact that not only is sexual violence is widespread, but also the need for communities across the country to join together in taking action to prevent sexual violence.
Each year, the national SAAM campaign is coordinated by the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) with assistance from anti-sexual assault organizations. The 19th annual 2020 SAAM National theme is “I Ask”, and the campaign provides a great opportunity to empower all of us to remember that consent is what it takes to end sexual harassment, abuse, and assault.
VMSI’s own Paige Meade, VP of Corporate Growth, is an award-winning, community-based sexual assault victim advocate as well as a guest lecturer for the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Office for Victims of Crime (OFVC) “Listen and Learn” Victim Impact program. Each year, she volunteers nearly 1300 on-call and in-person hours to provide counseling, advocacy services, and Department of Corrections (DOC) programming. “One month isn’t enough to solve the widespread issue of sexual violence in our communities,” said Meade. “However, the attention SAAM generates each April is an opportunity to reach new audiences and expand prevention efforts every month of the year. The good news is that prevention is possible, and I see it working locally and nationally.”
For more information about the 2020 SAAM campaign and to spread the word, visit www.nsvrc.org/saam
If you or someone you know needs help, call 800.656.HOPE (4673) to be connected with a trained, National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline staff member from a sexual assault service provider in your area.