April is National Sexual Assault Awareness Month
During this time, advocates work extra hard to raise awareness about sexual assault violence and educate communities around the nation about how to prevent sexual assault. Each year during the month of April, state, territory, tribal and community – based organizations, rape crisis centers, government agencies, businesses, school campuses, and individuals plan events and activities to highlight sexual violence as a public health, human rights and social justice issue and reinforce the need for prevention efforts.
In the late 1970s, women began working to “Take Back the Night” in response to the violence that was
being experienced while walking through city streets after sundown. The initial female – only protests
were meant to share information about sexual assault with the communities they took place in. By the
1980’s these sexual assault awareness activities had expanded to include the issue of violence against
women. It wasn’t long before these activities expanded even more and encompassed violence against
men, and males began participating to raise awareness.
In the late 1980s, the National Coalition Against Sexual Assault began developing interest in selecting a designated time period to promote awareness. An informal poll of sexual assault coalition agencies revealed that April would be a suitable month, and the National Sexual Assault Awareness week was established. It was not until the late 1990’s that this week was expanded to an entire month. In April of 2001, Sexual Assault Awareness Month as we know it was celebrated for the first time.
In 2009, President Barack Obama was the first US President to proclaim April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
Compiled statistics up to 2017
-Every 98 seconds an American is sexually assaulted
-Every 8 minutes a child is sexually assaulted
-9 out of every 10 victims sexually assaulted are female
-1 out of every 6 American women are victims of attempted or completed rape in her lifetime
-1 out of 33 American men are victims of attempted or completed rape in his lifetime
-from 2009 – 2013, CPS agencies substantiated, or found strong evidence that 63,000 children a year were
victims of sexual abuse
-The majority of sexual assaults occur at or near the victim’s home; 55% at or near the victim’s home, 15% in an open or public space, 12% at or near a relative’s home, 10% in an enclosed but public area, such as a parking garage, 8% on school property.
-80,600 inmates are sexually assaulted
-60,000 children were victims of “substantiated or indicated” sexual abuse
-321,500 Americans 12 and older were sexually assaulted or raped
-18,900 military personnel experienced unwanted sexual contact
-only 6 out of 1,000 perpetrators will end up in prison