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  • Writer's pictureStephen Carter

Why National Sexual Assault Awareness Month Matters

April is National Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), a time dedicated to raising awareness about sexual violence, promoting prevention efforts, and supporting survivors. Here's why National Sexual Assault Awareness Month matters.

Understanding the Scope of the Issue

Sexual assault is a global epidemic that affects people of all ages, gender, race, and socioeconomic status. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 1 in 3 women worldwide have experienced physical or sexual violence during their lifetime. These acts often are committed by an intimate partner [1].

Breaking the Silence

One of the most critical aspects of National Sexual Assault Awareness Month is its role in amplifying the importance of sexual violence awareness. Sadly, too many survivors are silenced by shame, fear, and social stigma. By shining a spotlight on this issue, SAAM can help empower survivors to speak out, seek support, and reclaim their voices. It sends a powerful message that survivors are not alone and that their stories matter.

Challenging Misconceptions

Another vital function of SAAM is dispelling myths and misconceptions surrounding sexual assault. All too often, victim-blaming attitudes and harmful stereotypes perpetuate the culture of silence surrounding sexual violence. National Sexual Assault Awareness Month provides an opportunity to challenge these narratives, educate the public, and shift the blame from survivors to perpetrators where it rightfully belongs.

Promoting Prevention and Education

Prevention is an important key to addressing sexual assault effectively. SAAM plays a crucial role in promoting prevention strategies, strengthening relevant laws, and supporting education initiatives. Highlighting SAAM can empower individuals and communities to prevent sexual violence. By raising awareness and providing resources, SAAM can help equip people with the knowledge and skills needed to create safer environments for all.

It's also vital to encourage survivors to seek professional help if that's needed and use self-care methods to promote recovery. FREA offers information and tools available to everyone. Whether you're a survivor, therapist, or advocate, you'll find useful resources on the FREA website at

Advocating for Policy Change

Beyond individual actions, National Sexual Assault Awareness Month also serves as a platform for advocacy and policy change. From grassroots organizations to government agencies, advocates use this month to push for legislative reforms, improved support services, and greater accountability for perpetrators. By harnessing collective action, SAAM can amplify voices of survivors and help drive positive change.

Supporting Survivors

The National Sexual Assault Awareness Month is a time to show solidarity and support for survivors. It's about creating a culture of empathy, validation, and healing. Whether through support groups, counseling services, or community events, SAAM provides a platform for survivors to connect with others, access resources, and embark on their journey toward healing and recovery.

National Sexual Assault Awareness Month matters because it shines a light on an issue that affects millions of people worldwide. It's a time to break the silence, challenge misconceptions, promote prevention, advocate for change, and support survivors. By coming together we can create a world where sexual violence is no longer tolerated, and everyone is treated with dignity and respect.

Our Way Forward

During this month - and every month to come - let's recommit ourselves to the fight against sexual assault and work towards a future free from violence and fear.


  1. World Health Organization. "Violence against women: key facts." Retrieved from

Note: Some information shared in this post was supplied by


Stephen Carter is a former Chief of Police, corporate security and safety executive, and practitioner for multiple holistic wellbeing methods. He is a longtime FREA volunteer and hosts a number of Internet Radio and podcast shows dedicated to stress relief and emotional wellbeing.

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