What is SAAM? SAAM stands for “Sexual Assault Awareness Month” and revolves around raising awareness, support, and empowerment for survivors. Celebrating 19 years, this year, the message and theme for SAAM is “I Ask for Consent.” With that short theme, we can already see that this year will be great! Involving entire communities and joining in support for survivors, you can be a part of this too!
Speaking out for survivors seems like such a simple idea, but in reality, it is enormous! By knowing the facts and speaking out when you encounter sexual harassment, abuse, or assault, you are giving power back to the survivors and educating individuals who may not know their actions are harmful. Changing social norms and harmful narratives is a massive part of the change.
In the U.S., we celebrate SAAM. While raising awareness is essential, we understand that it is not the whole picture. Changing societal norms takes time, and in the end, our goal is to prevent sexual violence from ever happening.
What is Consent?
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, consent means:
“To give assent or approval.” A synonym is “agree.”
When you think about consent, the idea seems complex, but in reality, it is as simple as the definition. Before taking action, the agreement of the other party needs to be clear. Part of the problem lies in how society permits individuals to give into each impulse or desire.
What are Harmful Narratives?
How many times have you heard, thought, or said the following statements?
These are examples of harmful narratives and damaging stereotypes. When we believe survivors, we are empowering.
Reading these statements, you can understand why being a survivor is hard. A survivor feels compelled to either stay silent or fight for their voice. They do not have society on their side: quite literally, people will blame and attack the survivor.
We will SPEAK OUT against these societal myths about sexual assault and rape. Join us this month as we tackle the job of spreading the word about consent.
Sexual Violence + Prevention
Prevention is Possible!
Joining together as a community, individuals, and organizations can combat the risk of sexual harassment, misconduct, and abuse. By using conversations, programs, policies, and researched-based tools, we can promote safety, respect, and equality. Will you join us?