“In the United States, April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The goal of SAAM is to raise public awareness about sexual violence and educate communities on how to prevent it. We know that one month isn’t enough to solve the serious and widespread issue of sexual violence. However, the attention April generates is an opportunity to energize and expand prevention efforts throughout the year,” interim prevention and education coordinator in the dean of students office Melissa Stoner said.
Stoner’s position is dedicated to providing prevention education and opportunities for students to help contribute to a safe, inclusive and healthy campus. The Prevention and Education Coordinator provides programming on the topics of Alcohol and Other Drugs and Sexual Violence. The Prevention and Education Coordinator is available to support faculty, staff, and student organizations by offering programs and trainings on Alcohol and Other Drugs and Sexual Violence. These trainings include Alcohol Risk Reduction, Alcohol and Other Drug Awareness, Bystander Prevention, Consent, Healthy Relationships, Sexual Health and Sexual Violence Awareness.
A large organisation that shows support for SAAM is The National Sexual Violence Resource Center.
“The National Sexual Violence Resource Center 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.”
NSVRC opened in July 2000 as a national information and resource hub relating to all aspects of sexual violence. It was founded by the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape, the oldest and one of the largest state sexual assault coalitions. NSVRC is funded through a cooperative agreement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Violence Prevention. Our staff collects and disseminates a wide range of resources on sexual violence including statistics, research, position statements, statutes, training curricula, prevention initiatives and program information. With these resources, we assist coalitions, advocates and others interested in understanding and eliminating sexual violence.
“Every year the [NSVRC] decides on a theme for [SAAM]. This year, SAAM is celebrating its 18th anniversary with the theme ‘I Ask’ to empower everyone to put consent into practice. We want to remind everyone that asking for consent is a healthy, normal and necessary part of everyday interactions. By practicing consent, we are choosing to respect the personal and emotional boundaries of others. Throughout the month we have been tabling to spread the message of “I Ask” and to handout resources. We have resources on the basics of consent, digital consent, and how power impacts consent,” Stoner said.
Every April, NSVRC leads 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. “RALIANCE builds bridges between prevention experts and other industries and communities to promote a society that believes survivors and values equality and respect for all. RALIANCE also works with organizations that are interested in improving their organizational cultures to be safe and free from sexual harassment and misconduct.”
Family Advocates is another organization that supports and helps those in need. “Family Advocates, Inc. is a non-profit agency who works with victims of domestic, sexual, elder and child abuse in Iowa, Grant and Lafayette Counties. Paula Schoenberg has drop in hours on campus at 130 Warner on Mondays and Thursdays with a support group on Mondays 4 to 5 pm. All services are free, confidential and non-judgement. If you don’t know who to turn to please call our 800-924-2624 number any time or go to our website familyadv.org.”