SAAM Day of Action Date in the current year: April 2, 2024

SAAM Day of Action The SAAM Day of Action is held on the first Tuesday of April as part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). Its main goal is to prevent sexual assault, abuse and harassment through education and awareness.

Most people associate the term sexual assault with rape or attempted rate, but it can take many more forms, including groping and sexual harassment (bullying, coercion or intimidation of a sexual nature). According to statistics, more than 80% of women in the US have experienced some form of sexual harassment or assault in their lifetime, and 20% of women have experienced attempted or completed rape. One of the saddest things about sexual assault is that the victims often end up being blamed for it and stigmatized, whereas the perpetrators go unpunished.

The history of Sexual Assault Awareness Month in the United States can be traced back to the 1970s, when campaigns for sexual assault awareness began to emerge as part of the general social activism trend. The decade saw the opening of the first rape crisis centers, the formation of the first anti-rape coalitions, and the first organized protests against sexual assault, rape, and violence against women.

In the late 1980s, the National Coalition Against Sexual Assault designated a week in April as Sexual Assault Awareness Week. By the late 1990s, many organizations and activists began coordinating awareness events and activities throughout the entire month of April. Sexual Assault Awareness Month was first observed nationwide in 2001, following the founding of the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) the previous year.

The NSVRC is an American nonprofit that was founded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape – the country’s oldest anti-rape coalition – to address the causes and impact of sexual violence through collaboration, resources, and prevention.

Since its inception, the NSRVC has coordinated the theme, slogan, resources and materials for the national Sexual Assault Awareness Month campaign. Past themes have included Engaging Bystanders, Healthy Sexuality, Healthy Kids, Healthy Teens, College Campuses, Prevention Is Possible, Engaging New Voices, Embrace Your Voice, I Ask, We Can Build Safe Online Spaces, and Building Safe Online Spaces Together.

The NSRVC designated the first Tuesday of April as the SAAM Day of Action in 2004. Another highlight of the SAAM campaign is Denim Day, which takes place on the last Wednesday of the month. Denim Day focuses on combating victim blaming, whereas the SAAM Day of Action aims to prevent sexual assault by educating about consent and respecting boundaries.

The SAAM Day of Action offers an opportunity to kick off Sexual Assault Awareness Month with coordinated and highly visible actions. You can participate in the campaign by wearing teal to show your support for sexual harassment and abuse survivors, attending a SAAM event or hosting an event of your own, donating to or volunteering at your local rape crisis center, and spreading the word on social media.

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SAAM Day of Action, Sexual Assault Awareness Month, National Sexual Violence Resource Center, awareness days in the US