April 2022 is the 21st anniversary of Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), a time to raise awareness about the ongoing problem of sexual assault. Organizations around the nation are working to raise awareness – the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape (PCAR) held a rally at the State Capitol Rotunda on Monday to emphasize the need to believe victims and know how to report assaults.
PCAR CEO Karen Baker also brought attention to sexual harassment, as it is a form of intimidation because victims’ jobs, reputations and livelihoods are often at risk.
The theme for SAAM 2022 is Building Safe Online Spaces Together, recognizing the problem of cyberbullying and striving to build online communities that focus on respect, inclusion and safety. This campaign is about building online communities where harassment, assault and abuse are taken seriously, and survivors are believed and supported.
The National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) wants to make it clear that everyone can practice consent and intervene when they discover harmful behaviors online and offline. These are key skills people can use to build safer spaces, according to Yolanda Edrington, the executive director of NSVRC.
The NSVRC wants to focus on community-level prevention, which moves beyond individual actions to target community norms, cultural climates and policies to help reduce the risk of sexual violence.
You can learn more about events to commemorate SAAM 2022 on the National Sexual Violence Resource Center website.