April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Updated: April 1, 2023

April 2023 marks the official 22nd anniversary of Sexual Assault Awareness Month — but did you know we can trace its history even longer?

Even before its official declaration, SAAM was about both awareness and prevention of sexual assault, harassment, and abuse. Looking at the history of the movement to end sexual violence, it’s clear why: It’s impossible to prevent an issue no one knows about, and it’s difficult to make people aware of a problem without providing a solution. The two work in tandem, and they always have. From the civil rights movement to the founding of the first rape crisis centers to national legislation and beyond, the roots of SAAM run deep.
History of Sexual Assault Awareness Month – National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC)

The theme of Sexual Assault Awareness Month 2023 is “Drawing Connections: Prevention Demands Equity.” This April’s campaign calls on all individuals, communities, organizations, and institutions to change ourselves and the systems surrounding us to build racial equity and respect.
Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) – National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC)

Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month: Let’s Heal Together – Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN)
During Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month (SAAPM) 2023, we encourage individuals and communities across the country to come together in awareness and healing by sharing information on sexual violence and child sexual abuse material, knowing your local and national resources, joining community events, becoming an advocate, volunteering, and donating.
#WhatIWish is the start of a hashtag conversation that encourages reflection and holds space for all perspectives and testimonies about the dangers of child sexual abuse material online. Prompts such as #WhatIWish my younger self/parents/siblings/caregivers/policymakers knew about dangers online, will be posted and shared to bring our community together to protect children online.
#HEALTogether encourages the survivor community and their loved ones to come together in their healing from sexual violence and the dangers online. Leaning on each other during times of hardship, and during times of triumph, can provide individuals a sense of safety and belonging while healing from trauma.
RAINN Day, taking place this year on April 18th, 2023, is an annual day of awareness and action about sexual violence around the country during Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month. RAINN Day is an opportunity for survivors all over the nation to know they are not alone in their healing journey. Join the conversation with hashtags #RAINNDay, #WhatIWish, and #HEALTogether.
Show Your Support on Denim Day: Denim Day—April 26—is an annual, national day of awareness that encourages participants to wear denim as a symbol of believing survivors and asserting that consent has nothing to do with your clothing.  History of Denim Day
Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) (Bilingual English and Spanish)
National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline:
24 hours a day, 7 Days a Week (800) 656-HOPE (800-656-4673)
Rape & Sexual Assault Laws in New York State
Know the Laws in Your State
Safety Prevention
Talking to Your Kids About Sexual Assault
How Can I Protect My Child from Sexual Assault?
If you Suspect A Child is Being Harmed
Safety for Parents
Warning Signs of Child Sexual Abuse
Reporting to Law Enforcement

Preventing Sexual Violence – Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)
Risk & Protective Factors – Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)
Sexual Violence Prevention Program – NYS Department of Health (NYSDOH)
Sexual Assault Prevention and Response – U. S. Department of Defense
What to Do If You Believe You Have Been Harassed at Work – U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Sexual Harassment in Housing Environment – U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
Sexual Harassment in Relationships – U.S. Department of Health & Human Services – Office on Women’s Health
Getting a Restraining Order – U.S. Department of Health & Human Services – Office on Women’s Health
Self-Defense FAQ – National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence
Sexual Assault Awareness Month – Fearless! Hudson Valley, Inc.
Help for Sexual Violence or Harassment – Time’s UP
What it really takes to stop sexual harassment – American Psychological Association
Studies found that “sexual harassment is linked to increased likelihood of sexual assault” and “telling sexist jokes was associated with self-reported rape proclivity and blaming of victims.”

CWNY’s resources:
Domestic Violence Awareness
Intimate Partner Violence Awareness
16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence
CWNY’s YouTube playlist on “Abuse, Violence, and Trafficking Awareness” – Center for the Women of New York (CWNY)


National Dating Abuse Hotline – (loveisrespect.org)
Teen Helpline – Call 866-331-9474 or 800-787-3224 (TTY)
24 hours a day, 7 days a week
Text:  LOVEIS to 22522
Live Chat
Sexual Harassment and Sexual Bullying for Teens – KidsHealth
What Kids & Teens Can Do About Sexual Harassment & Assault – STOMP Out Bullying
Sexual Violence in Schools – The National Education Association 
Erin’s Law – New York State Education Department
“In August 2019, New York State became the 37th state to sign Erin’s Law into legislation. New York State’s law, (Chapter 187 of the Laws of 2019) – known as Erin’s Law – requires public schools to teach child sexual abuse and exploitation prevention classes to students in kindergarten through eighth grade.”