As many of our readers are no doubt aware, today marks the beginning of Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). While SAAM is always relevant to those concerned about the safety and well-being of college students, the focus of this year’s campaign is s especially relevant to institutes of higher education: the prevention of sexual violence on college campuses. We know our readers will be looking for creative and engaging ways to participate. Here are some ideas and resources to get you started.
The National Sexual Violence Resource Center releases planning guides to help advocates and allies develop an effective Sexual Assault Awareness Month campaign. These valuable guides provide specific event ideas and strategies for promoting awareness and engaging your community’s support and participation. Another great resource is this list of specific events on their blog.
Denim Day is Wednesday, April 29th this year. Denim Day started as a protest against a ruling by the Italian Supreme Court that overturned a rape conviction because the victim’s jeans were “too tight” for the attacker to remove without the victim’s help. Denim Day was conceived as a protest against all such misconceptions about sexual violence. You can show your support by organizing a full-fledged campaign around Denim Day on your campus or simply wearing jeans on April 29th this year.
The Hunting Ground, a new documentary on campus rape, has been raising awareness and provoking important conversations on college and university campuses across the country. Go to a screening to educate yourself or get more people involved by arranging a field trip. Make sure to organize a follow up discussion and make support resources easily available to students and staff who may be triggered by the movie.
Our own website offers numerous resources and ideas for workshops and awareness campaigns that you can use to create programming around Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Download free posters, workshops, and other materials here and adapt them to your own campus’s needs.