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National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month


Sexual assault is a term that is used to encompass the multitude of ways in which a person can be violated in a sexual nature against her/his will. It is defined as any sexual act directed against another person that is forcible and/or against that person’s will, or where that person is incapable of giving consent. Sexual assault is a crime in all of the U.S. states and territories.

Sexual Assault Awareness Month serves to bring awareness around these issues. Following the initial observance of October for Domestic Violence Awareness Month, advocates of sexual assault survivors sought to create a similar awareness event more specific to sexual violence. What started out as an awareness week in April grew into a month-long consciousness-raising event as advocates began to coordinate events throughout the month of April.

In April of 2001, the U.S. began to nationally observe the month of April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Throughout the month, organizations across the country host events and programs that aim to educate the public and reach out to survivors. Teal ribbons are worn by many to raise awareness in support of the cause.

Overall, the goal of this message is to provide awareness and education for students, faculty and staff concerning sexual assault/violence.  Moreover, the Clery Center for Security on Campus Security advises the Pact5 Documentaries found at https://pact5.org/pact5-documentaries/ are a valuable resource.  Pact5 is a national movement to prevent sexual assaults and rapes in colleges.

OED will have share additional information in the coming months on sexual assault/violence, Title IX, VAWA and the Campus SaVE Act.  If you have additional questions contact OED at 901-448-2112.