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Bringing awareness to communities in the month of April

April has many dedications to bringing awareness to communities. Sexual Assault Awareness Month, as one example of many, is one that Tubman actively promotes through work with individuals who have experienced physical or sexual violence, exploitation and trafficking, and other forms of trauma.

Having been recognized as an official awareness month in April 2001, Sexual Assault Awareness Month brings forward the systemic and political issues surrounding sexual assault. The National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) states that the goal for Sexual Assault Awareness Month is to raise public awareness about sexual violence and education communities on how to prevent it. Starting as far back as the 1970s with Take back the Night, in the late 1980s and 90s, there was only a week in April dedicated to sexual assault awareness. Throughout the years, the NSVRC has given themes to Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The theme for 2018 is “Embrace Your Voice,” with the goal of informing individuals on how they can use their words to promote safety, respect, and equality to stop sexual violence before it happens. This includes speaking up in support of survivors and an end to victim blaming, educating children on boundaries and personal agency, consent, shutting down rape jokes, and other forms of healthy communication. The statistics are staggering with an estimated 67.5% of instances of rape going unreported (2016), 1 in 3 women experiencing physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner (2014), and 1 in 6 boys being sexually abused before the age of 16 (2008). More statistics and facts can be found on the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s website.