A sexual assault occurs every two minutes in the United States. That is approximately 237,868 victims each year.
A report of child abuse is made every ten seconds in the United States, and more than four children die every day as a result of abuse.
1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys will be sexually assaulted before they turn 18 years old. I am one of those girls.
April is Sexual Assault Awareness and Child Abuse Prevention month. Abuse and sexual assault are serious epidemics, in this country, and across the world.
The most important thing you can do in April is speak out.
Tell your stories - write about it on your blog, speak about it at a church or community event, share your story with friends and family. (If you want to share your story in a safe, anonymous way, you can submit it to Band Back Together.)
Share blog posts and articles where other people are telling their stories.
Share prevention and awareness materials.
Change your picture on facebook. Tweet.
Talk to your kids and teens about sexual assault and abuse.
Sexual Assault AwarenessIn the 1980's, April was selected as the month for Sexual Assault Awareness Week. In 2001, teal became the official color for sexual assault awareness, and the first Sexual Assault Awareness Month was observed nationally.
Get Involved In Sexual Assault Awareness in 2014:
- The 2014 campaign from the NSVRC is focused on healthy sexuality and its connection to sexual violence prevention. They have resources for parents, educators, and advocates that can be found on their site.
- #TweetAboutIt Twitter Chats are scheduled for each Tuesday afternoon in April at 2pm EST.
- You can also use the #SAAM hashtag throughout the month.
- #30DaysofSAAM gives you a photo prompt for each day that you can use to start conversations on Instagram.
- Check out the National Sexual Violence Resource Center Calendar list of events.
- Support RAINN, and the sexual assault hotline.
- Wear denim on April 23rd for Denim Day.
Child Abuse PreventionIn 1983, April was the proclaimed the first official Child Abuse Prevention Month and the Blue Ribbon Campaign began in 1989.
Get Involved In Child Abuse Prevention in 2014:
- The 2014 Campaign from the Child Welfare Information Gateway is "Making Meaningful Connections." They have a resource guide, tip sheets, and calendar for people who want to get involved in child abuse prevention. There is a lot of great information and many resources to be found on this site.
- You can get your Stewards of Children training.
- Join the Pinwheels for Prevention movement with a blue pinwheel.
- Support Child Help and the child abuse hotline.
- Submit a blog post to the Blog Against Child Abuse by April 23rd.
It is important to remember that not all child abuse is sexual, and not all child abuse is violent.
What is happening in your area?
Please leave links or info in the comments about anything you are participating in for sexual assault awareness or child abuse prevention. I will be updating this post throughout the month.
If you have been the victim of sexual assault and need help, or you want to help a loved one, you can contact RAINN or call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE.
If you suspect that a child is being abused, or if you are a child or teen who is being abused, you can contact Child Help or call the National Child Abuse Hotline 1-800-4-A-CHILD.