Sexual Assault Awareness Month 2023

Sexual Assault Awareness Month 2023

This month marks the 22nd official anniversary of Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). We spent last week reviewing the history of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, so this week, we thought we would share more information regarding this year’s theme and how you can make a difference.


This year’s theme of SAAM is “Drawing Connections: Prevention Demands Equity.” According to National Sexual Violence Resource Center, Drawing Connections recognizes that it will take ending all forms of oppression to end sexual harassment, assault, and abuse. 


It is known that there is a clear correlation between sexual assault and other forms of oppression, including racism, sexism, classism, heterosexism, ageism, ableism, and more. People oppressed by these systems of oppression are sexually abused, assaulted, and harassed at a higher rate. 


The Drawing Connections is a call for “individuals, communities, organizations, and institutions to change ourselves and the systems surrounding us to build racial equity and respect.” So how do we move forward from this, and how can we educate and use our platforms within the workplace to improve?

What Can We Do?

According to National Sexual Violence Resource Center, anti-Blackness is a pressing issue impacting their movement to end violence. They believe to end sexual assault we must end racism and undo the systemic ways anti-Black racism shows up in our communities. Here are some statistics NSVRC highlighted:


  • More than 1 and 4 non-Hispanic Black women (29%) in the United States were raped in their lifetime.
  • More than 4 in 5 American Indian and Alaska Native women (84.3%) have experienced violence in their lifetime. 
  • 1 in 3 Hispanic women (34.8%) reported unwanted sexual contact in their lifetime.
  • 32.9% of adults with intellectual disabilities have experienced sexual violence.
  •  47% of all transgender people have been sexually assaulted at some point in their lives.

Steps We Can Take in and Outside of Work

Sexual Assault Awareness Month 2023

1. Shift Our Thought Process

One of the first and critical steps we can take to end sexual assault, abuse, and harassment is to discuss and learn about the impact of racism, sexism, ableism, and other forms of oppression. But we must learn to shift how we think about and discuss these complex topics. 


Sometimes when we discuss topics such as racism, we center our feelings which usually makes us feel uncomfortable. If we begin to discuss these topics without guilt, shame, or blame and with the intention of understanding and coming up with a solution, we have a better chance of seeing change in our communities. 

2. Embrace Being Uncomfortable

If ending racism and other forms of oppression is how we end sexual assault, we must find a way to embrace being uncomfortable when discussing these topics. 

3. Have Several Discussions

Racism and other forms of oppression are deeply ingrained into our culture. It is going to take having several conversations to end systematic oppression. It is going to take constant education and practice. We have to be intentional whether we are having these conversations at home, school, or work. If you are an employer, consider having a workshop, training, or speaker multiple times yearly to discuss these essential topics.

4. Culture

Create a work environment that supports, celebrates, and values all people. Break any biases you or your company have about systematically oppressed people. Ask yourself whether your company supports Black, Indigenous, and people of color in high-level positions. Does your company support women and those with disabilities? If not, start there.

More Help?

Ending sexual harassment, assault, and abuse is a process, but if we take the time to listen to one another, grow, and learn, we can begin planting more seeds to start seeing the change we want to see for generations to come. 


If you need help implementing policies to support these ideas, please reach out, and remember, we are here for you.

Sexual Assault Awareness Month 2023

Sexual Assault Awareness Month 2023

Sexual Assault Awareness Month 2023

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