By Maddy LaCure, Policy Advocate for Prevention and Education
April 2022 marks the 21st anniversary of the first official SAAM, a month in which communities across the country come together in the movement to end sexual violence, support survivors, and emphasize the importance of prevention. As we work year-round to raise awareness of violence in our communities, provide support, and advocate for survivors, we appreciate the opportunity SAAM gives us each year to spread important prevention messages and share action steps we can take to prevent sexual violence. Check out some ways you can get involved this SAAM with MCASA and on the national level with the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC).
SAAM at MCASA
This April, MCASA is continuing our ‘Moments Create Movements’ campaign to engage our communities and share stories of how our actions can create major change in the sexual violence prevention movement. We want to hear from people who live and work in Maryland about ways they help prevent sexual violence. We also want to know what people think their communities could do to better prevent sexual violence. These responses may be featured on our social media throughout April! To participate, complete this very brief form and share this opportunity with your network so we can learn from people across the state. In addition, we have created a Planning for Hybrid SAAM Best Practices Guide that provides tips for developing campaign messaging, expanding your impact, and planning both virtual and in-person SAAM events this year. MCASA is available to provide technical assistance, offer trainings, and attend outreach and engagement events across the state during SAAM and year-round. To invite MCASA to provide training or attend your community event, fill out our request form here or contact us at [email protected].
This SAAM, MCASA is also highlighting students in action on Maryland college and university campuses. We interviewed student leaders in various campus organizations to learn more about their work in prevention and education during SAAM and year-round. Check out the launch of our first SAAM Student Spotlight in an interview with University of Maryland College Park student leaders here.
Building Safe Online Spaces Together
Each year NSVRC hosts Sexual Assault Awareness Month. This year’s theme is Building Safe Online Spaces Together. After more than two years of online learning, working, and social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen an overall increase in the reliance on technology and digital spaces to keep us connected. We have also seen an increase in sexual violence happening online and through technology. This SAAM, think about how we can build safe online spaces where everyone is treated with respect. What does digital consent look like to you? How do you build healthy relationships via technology? To engage with this year’s campaign, visit NSVRC’s page to learn more. You can share their graphics on social media or bring their resources to a class discussion or book group with friends. Start a conversation this SAAM as we work to build safe online spaces together.