Polk County - Inspired by public conversations following the #MeToo movement on how to build understanding and prevent sexual harassment, assault and abuse, the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) launched, back in April 2019, the start of Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). This year, SAAM is celebrating its 19th anniversary. The theme for this year’s campaign, “I Ask”, helps empower all of us to put consent into practice and shares the message that asking for consent is a normal and necessary part of sex.
NSVRC is calling on individuals and communities to commemorate SAAM and show support for survivors by wearing teal, the symbol of sexual violence prevention and the official color of SAAM, on the April 2nd Day of Action and throughout the month. By wearing teal, supporters can drive further awareness around sexual violence prevention and the importance of consent, respect and supporting survivors.
“Asking for consent is a concrete and powerful way to ensure that everyone feels safe and respected,” said Yolanda Edrington, Executive Director at the National Sexual Violence Resource Center. “The ‘I Ask’ campaign is a great opportunity to normalize conversations about consent and to empower everyone to ask and respect the answer.”
The goal of SAAM is to raise public awareness about sexual violence, educate communities on how to prevent it, and bolster prevention efforts throughout the year.
In addition to publishing toolkits for individuals and organizations to plan and implement a SAAM campaign in their local communities, NSVRC has developed resources on learning how to recognize consent, giving and getting consent online, teaching consent early, and understanding how power dynamics impact consent. Hundreds of SAAM events are expected to happen in communities throughout the country, and NSVRC has compiled a list of SAAM events happening nationwide.
“Sexual Assault Awareness Month isn’t just about raising awareness. Our ultimate goal is prevention,” said Laura Palumbo, Communications Director at NSVRC. “Through the ‘I Ask’ campaign, we’re sharing the message that asking for consent not only ensures safe, consensual sexual experiences, but it also helps create a wider culture of respect that everyone can practice daily and in everyday situations.”
The National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) is the leading nonprofit in providing information and tools to prevent and respond to sexual violence. NSVRC translates research and trends into best practices that help individuals, communities and service providers achieve real and lasting change. The center also works with the media to promote informed reporting. Every April, NSVRC leads Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), a campaign to educate and engage the public in addressing this widespread issue. NSVRC is also one of the three founding organizations of RALIANCE, a national, collaborative initiative dedicated to ending sexual violence in one generation.