Every April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, a time to increase public understanding of sexual assault and educate communities on how to prevent it.
We invite the community to join in efforts in April to recognize Sexual Assault Awareness Month. And more importantly, we urge the public to work year round to support survivors and to eradicate the widespread crisis of sexual violence.
This April, here are five examples of ways you can get involved:
- Join Denim Day: Denim Day takes place on the last Wednesday of April, this year April 26. This day of action stems from a 1990s ruling by the Italian Supreme Court where a rape conviction was overturned because the justices felt that since the victim was wearing tight jeans she must have helped the person who raped her remove her jeans, thereby implying consent. Denim Day asks community members to make a social statement with their fashion by wearing denim on this day as a visible means of protest against the misconceptions that surround sexual violence. YWCA Dayton staff will be participating in Denim Day and we encourage your team to also wear your denim and join in.
- Support survivor voices at the Survivor Art Show: YWCA Dayton is holding an art show April 24 – 29 that will feature the work of survivors of sexual violence. Art will be displayed at Wholly Grounds Coffee, at 825 Wayne Ave., Dayton, which has offered to host the show. The public is also invited to the gallery opening from 6:30 – 8 p.m. April 24, at Wholly Grounds. One of the goals of the art show is to provide an empowering outlet for survivors of sexual violence to express themselves. The deadline to submit art is April 15 and those interested can email email@example.com. Anonymous artwork submissions are welcome.
- Learn the links between sexual violence and racism: We can trace a line from sexual violence to systems of oppression, and we can’t end sexual violence without also ending racism. The national theme for this Sexual Assault Awareness Month is Drawing Connections: Prevention Demands Equity, which calls us to change ourselves and the systems surrounding us to build racial equity and respect. This April, take time to learn how certain groups of people are at higher risk for sexual violence and how those same people are also the most impacted by inequitable systems and oppression in our society. We’re asking you to join us in building equity and respect within our communities, workplaces, and the future our youth hold – as it is crucial to making real, large-scale, and lasting change.
- Keep learning beyond April: Surveys indicate an estimated 1 in 5 women and 1 in 6 men experience some form of sexual violence in their lifetimes, though the true extent is not fully known because of underreporting. This April, take time to get the facts, brush up on bystander intervention, and learn more about what to say to survivors.
- Support your local rape crisis center: YWCA Dayton operates the only rape crisis centers in Preble and Montgomery counties. Our work to support all survivors of sexual violence takes the community’s financial support. Donate today to help keep this critical work going.
24/7 Crisis Hotline
Need to talk? Don’t know where to turn? We’re here 24/7. Call our Crisis Hotline at 937-222-SAFE or chat online with hotline staff.