April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM)

Apr 01st, 2024

Join us in honoring the 23rd annual SAAM

Silver Spring, Md., April 1, 2024 — April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), an annual opportunity to reflect on and advance our work to prevent sexual violence. Today marks the start of the 23rd anniversary of the first official SAAM.

Tonight, April 1st, MCASA will rally with the Maryland General Assembly's Women Legislators (Women's Caucus) and other survivors, advocates, and community activists to draw attention to legislation to improve Maryland's rape law. The consent bill (HB496/SB758) will shift the focus of rape law off of how the victim/survivor responded and onto the assailant. The House has passed this bill, but it is waiting for a vote in the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee.

The Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault (MCASA) looks forward to engaging Marylanders in our SAAM activities throughout the month. The National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) hosts SAAM each year. This year’s theme is Building Connected Communities, and we will be reflecting on the ways we can build healthy, safe, and supportive communities in Maryland and beyond. Learn more at: https://www.nsvrc.org/saam.

MCASA’s social media will feature highlights from our programs as we work to raise awareness of MCASA's many services and projects. This will include content from the Maryland Women of Color Network (MWOCN), the Sexual Assault Legal Institute (SALI), and the Maryland Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI).

MCASA is also excited to announce the launch of our statewide awareness campaign called ‘We Believe You.’ Displayed across Maryland’s public transit this SAAM, the campaign aims to promote support for survivors of sexual violence and raise awareness of the resources available to them through Maryland’s 17 Rape Crisis and Recovery Centers. We will be highlighting the campaign on social media, and creating customizable posts that can be shared by our partner organizations.

To complement this campaign, we rolled out a new page on our website where survivors and community members can learn more about survivor services, prevention efforts, and ways to get involved with MCASA. Visit the page here: https://mcasa.org/we-believe-you.

Community members can stay up-to-date with all of MCASA’s online #SAAM activities on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. We will also share details on upcoming SAAM events hosted by Maryland’s Rape Crisis Centers and other community organizations on our website. Learn more by visiting: https://mcasa.org/prevention/sexual-assault-awareness-month.

Support is available to survivors of sexual violence. To find information on your local Rape Crisis Center, including hotline numbers and available services, please visit: https://mcasa.org/survivors/find-a-rape-crisis-center. The Sexual Assault Legal Institute (SALI) provides comprehensive legal services related to sexual violence to victims and survivors of sexual assault in Maryland, including child sexual abuse. For legal inquiries, please contact SALI at 301-565-2277.

MCASA is the federally-recognized state sexual assault coalition responsible for certifying comprehensive rape crisis/sexual assault programs to ensure services are survivor centered. MCASA's core members are the State's 17 rape crisis centers, and the Coalition also represents the voices of many other member professionals, programs, and service providers working with sexual assault survivors. MCASA includes the Sexual Assault Legal Institute (SALI), which provides direct legal services to victims of sexual violence across the state of Maryland. MCASA is the leading public policy advocate for survivors of sexual assault in Annapolis and more information about 2024 legislative priorities and services for survivors can be found at www.mcasa.org.


Press Contact:

Lisae C. Jordan, Esq.
Executive Director and Counsel
Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault
[email protected]

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