April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month! While the need for awareness has been around forever, April has only been officially SAAM for 20 years. In 2000, the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) worked with organizations like SARA all over the country to coordinate efforts and our movement, and SAAM was born. It was first widely celebrated in April 2001, making 2021 the 20th anniversary!
We celebrate SAAM as an opportunity for both awareness AND prevention, because the two together provide the key to ending sexual violence. If no one knows about the issue, we can’t prevent it; if there aren’t tangible solutions, we can’t keep people aware and involved.
The theme for Sexual Assault Awareness Month 2021 is “We Can Build Safe Online Spaces.” A fitting theme for a World operating virtually through a pandemic, the goal is to bring awareness to how forms of sexual violence are still happening online (and how to prevent them!) “As we connect online, we can learn how to practice digital consent, intervene when we see harmful content or behaviors, and ensure that online spaces — whether they be workspaces, classrooms, social media platforms, or otherwise — are respectful and safe” (National Sexual Violence Resource Center 2021, https://www.nsvrc.org/saam)
At SARA, April is our favorite month! We make it our goal to fill each day with awareness campaigns, programs, and action steps that our community can participate in to further our movement. In the past we have joined forces with several community partners, hosted social media challenges, open houses, tabling events, and radio campaigns. It is also during April that we host one of our largest programs and fundraisers, the Walk for SARA.
Last year, because April hit right at the onset of the pandemic, the majority of our plans were cancelled. This year we’ve been able to adapt some of our activities to make them virtual and accessible through pandemic safety precautions. See below for ways you can participate in Sexual Assault Awareness Month 2021!
March 25 – Simcoe for SARA release at Three Notch’d Brewery 6-9pm
April 2 – Simcoe for SARA release at Reason Beer 6 pm
www.walkforsara.com – register here with friends for our annual walk.
Stay tuned for Simcoe for SARA releases at Champion Brewery and Decipher Brewery.