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April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM)

Violence Intervention Project is focusing on ways that individuals, communities, and the private sector can help prevent sexual violence. Sexual Assault Awareness Month is the time to stand with survivors, show support, advocate, and change the culture that has allowed this violence to continue on for much too long.


Everyone understands that sexual violence impacts victims and their families, but the effects of this violent crime on communities and society are less obvious. Sexual violence creates a climate of fear, anger, and/or disbelief in the workplaces, campuses, and communities that it occurs in. Additionally, sexual violence generates criminal justice, medical, crisis and mental health service expenses. Perhaps most damaging are the lost contributions of survivors. Rape alone results in more than $122,000 in costs per victim and nearly $3.1 trillion to the economy over the lifetimes of all 25 million victims in the US population.


Preventing such a far-reaching and prevalent social issue as sexual violence may seem overwhelming or even impossible. This mentality implies that there isn’t a solution — or if there is, we can’t achieve it. But we can and we are. There are many practical steps that are currently being taken in our homes, neighborhoods, schools, faith communities, and workplaces.  However, there are many more things we can do to promote safety, respect, and accountability.


Prevention starts with challenging victim-blaming and believing survivors when they disclose. Individuals can model supportive relationships and behaviors, call out harmful attitudes and behaviors, and challenge the societal acceptance of rape. Communities and businesses can take action to implement policies that promote safety, respect, and equality. 

Stop the Violence, End the Silence!  Please join us in helping everyone see their role in preventing sexual violence. 

You can also support Sexual Assault Awareness Month by following VIP on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and share our message to help increase awareness and prevent sexual violence. Thank you for your support. “Restoring Hurt Lives and Supporting Stronger Communities."

Here's How You Can Help Raise Awareness

VIP is hosting a Light up the Night 5K/1K Run and Walk on Friday, April 26th from 5pm – 7pm at Greenwood Walking Trail in Thief River Falls. A candlelight vigil will follow at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Thief River Falls. There will be speakers and refreshments. Please check out our Facebook page to learn more. It’s time to get involved to raise awareness about this important topic and support survivors to end the silence.

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