Every year, NAM commemorates Sexual Assault Awareness Month. In addition to the traditional Teal Day, and Wear Denim Day, NAM is shining a spotlight on difficult but important conversations of sexual assault, and cultural attitudes that are harmful towards survivors.
Only 310 out of every 1,000 sexual assaults are reported to police. Victim blaming - such as asking “what was she wearing?” - and disbelief of survivors when they disclose their assault, are examples of problematic responses that hurt survivors.
To address these issues, NAM’s Family Violence Center included the following events for the first time in SAAM 2022:
- April 6th: Start By Believing Day. NAM’s FVC is joining a national movement, startbybelieving.org, and will encourage people take the pledge to believe survivors on this day.
- April 13th: Little Black Dress Day. This day is unique to NAM, and was developed by FVC staff to emphasis that what a woman is wearing should never be used to blame the victim for the assault, and that what someone is wearing does not imply or constitute consent. NAM asks that people participate in this day by posting a photo of themselves wearing a little black dress, with the hashtag #MyDressIsNotaYes.
NAM also shone a spotlight on how sexual assault is an issue that effects everyone - both men and women. Men are not only perpetrators of sexual assault, can also be victims and bystanders. NAM will encourage men to speak up against the idea that “boys will be boys,” and to change the culture of entitlement that normalizes the abuse and assault of others.
Though women are in the majority of those impacted by sexual violence, men and boys are also victimized: 1 out of 10 rape victims are male, and an estimated 1 out of 143 men in the military experience sexual assault while serving.
Friend of NAM and CEO of Loyalty Plumbing LLC joined with the Family Violence Center, to help encourage men in our community to not remain silent as bystanders, but as Upstanders when confronted with behaviors that normalize sexual assault, and who call out other men on their abusive or exploitative behaviors.
This Ted Talk by Jason Katz also highlights how sexual assault is not just a women's issue, and learn more on how men can make be a positive force of change at the the website of the movement, Men Can Stop Rape.