April 2021 marks the 20th anniversary of Sexual Assault Awareness Month! Each year, the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) leads SAAM by designing a national campaign that works to end sexual violence and support survivors.
The history of SAAM
In 2000, the newly launched NSVRC and the Resource Sharing Project polled sexual violence coalitions. They asked organizations about their preferred color, symbol, and month for sexual assault awareness activities, thus, the teal ribbon for sexual awareness and SAAM was born.
By wearing teal on April 6th, SAAM Day of Action, we can all signal that we support survivors and are a safe person to talk to if they need to reach out.
This year is particularly poignant for us, because the theme of SAAM 2021 is: We Can Build Safe Online Spaces
The need to cultivate safe online spaces, now and for future generations, has never been more urgent than in the midst of a pandemic.
Last year, we saw:
- 50% increase in revenge porn and internet privacy cases
- 75% increase in underage victims
- 66% increase in XXX content removal cases
How you can get involved in SAAM and learn more:
- Participate in the NSVRC #30daysofSAAM social media challenge which offers thoughtful suggestions of post themes for each day (and prizes for the best posts!)
- Read our blog on Coping with Covid lockdowns as a survivor of digital abuse
- Learn about the CDA230 – a law which is standing in the way of safe online spaces. When we give enormous tech companies blanket immunity, we shouldn’t be surprised when they allow predators, abusers, and psychos to inflict serious harm in online and physical spaces. We reject the notion that we as individuals are ~solely~ responsible for preventing ourselves being attacked online, because it enables Big Tech to shirk responsibility for their dangerous products, shady profit models, and morally corrupt practices
We believe that every victim of sexual assault deserves justice. Justice includes making sure that law enforcement takes you seriously and pursues your case to the best of their ability. It also includes compensating you for your suffering.
There are lots of ways we can help victims of Sexual Assault (online and offline) including:
- Obtaining an Order of Protection
- Civil lawsuit against the abuser in Cases of Sexual Offenses, Rape, Incest, Sexual Abuse
- Civil lawsuits against organizations that ignored or sexual violence like a school, government department, app, media company
- Advocacy for your rights during a Criminal Proceeding
- Advocating for you during a School Disciplinary Proceeding
- Advocating with your employer to makes sure accommodations are made (victims of crimes and domestic violence may be entitled leaves of absence, special time off for meetings with legal counsel and court appearances, or safety planning)