Sexual Assault Prevention

Trigger Warning (TW): post talks about sexual violence

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Sexual violence can have psychological, emotional, and physical effects on a survivor.

Listen. Believe. Support. #SAAM2023

SAAM 2023

The theme of this year’s National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s (NSVRC) Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) is “Drawing Connections: Prevention Demands Equity.”

This campaign calls on all individuals, communities, organizations, and institutions to change ourselves and the systems surrounding us to build racial equity and respect.

The mission of SAAM is to increase public understanding of sexual assault and educate communities on how to prevent it.

A single month isn’t enough to address the significant and widespread problem of sexual assault. However, the month of April holds space for the attention, prevention efforts, and survivor support we hope to strengthen and expand throughout the year.

Source: National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC)

Everyone is affected by Sexual Violence

“Drawing Connections: Prevention Demands Equity” calls on all individuals, communities, organizations, and institutions to build racial equity and respect.

Systems of oppression such as racism, sexism, classism, heterosexism, ageism, ableism, and others contribute to higher rates of sexual harassment, assault, and abuse. So often, we are unaware of how historical conditions have shaped our lives and how we move throughout the world, specifically, forms of privilege with the many identities we each hold. As such, we recognize that it will take ending all forms of oppression to end sexual violence worldwide.

Highlighting one of the pressing issues we see impacting not just equity within our movement to end violence but negatively affecting the life, freedom, and dignity of people across the world is anti-Blackness. In addressing prevention, we must take steps to undo the systemic ways anti-Black racism shows up in our communities.

Sexual violence is an umbrella term that includes any type of unwanted sexual contact — including sexual assault, harassment, and abuse. 

Forms of sexual violence include:

  • Rape or sexual assault
  • Sexual harassment
  • Sexual abuse
  • Unwanted sexual contact/touching
  • Sexual exploitation and trafficking
  • Exposing one’s genitals or naked body to others without consent
  • Nonconsensual image sharing
  • Words and actions of a sexual nature against a person’s will and without their consent
  • Sexual violence represents a range of behaviors

Recent Data on Sexual Assault:

  • Every 73 seconds an American is sexually assaulted
  • Approximately 1 in 5 women experience completed or attempted rape in their lifetime
  • 1 out of every 10 rape victims are male
  • Nearly 50% of trans people are sexually assaulted in their lifetime
  • Nearly half of all women killed in the U.S. are murdered by a current or former intimate partner
  • About 4.5 million women in the U.S. have been threatened with a gun and nearly 1 million women have been shot or shot at by an intimate partner
  • Over half of all intimate partner homicides are committed with guns
  • A woman is five times more likely to be murdered when her abuser has access to a gun
  • The majority of femicide victims (76%) and of attempted femicide victims (85%) experienced stalking in the 12 months leading up to their homicide or homicide attempt
  • 40% of gay men and 47% of bisexual men have experienced sexual violence
  • Nearly 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men will experience severe physical violence at the hands of their intimate partner in their lifetime

Source: National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC)

What is IPV?

Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) is abuse or aggression that occurs in a romantic relationship. “Intimate partner” refers to both current and former spouses and dating partners.

IPV can vary in how often it happens and how severe it is. It can range from one episode of violence that could have lasting impact to chronic and severe episodes over multiple years. 

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)


What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence (DV) is a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner.

Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, psychological, or technological actions or threats of actions or other patterns of coercive behavior that influence another person within an intimate partner relationship. This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound someone. 

Source: U.S. Department of Justice

Domestic violence, including intimate partner violence, is a public health crisis in the U.S.

Nearly one in four women and one in seven men will experience severe physical violence at the hands of their intimate partner in their lifetime.

Fortunately, most victims of domestic violence do survive.
However, far too many victims DO NOT.

Firearms contribute significantly to domestic violence in the U.S. — to threaten, to coerce, to control, and to kill. Over half of all intimate partner homicides are committed with guns.

Around 4.5 million women in the U.S. have been threatened with a gun, and nearly 1 million women have been shot or shot at by an intimate partner. A woman is five times more likely to be murdered when her abuser has access to a gun.

To reduce the number of domestic violence homicides, we must ensure that people who abuse their intimate partners or family do not have access to firearms.

Source: The Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence

This April, the Harborview Abuse & Trauma Center (HATC) is partnering with local coffee shops in recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

These local businesses will help HATC to raise awareness about its services, and how people can promote consent.

Stop by one of these participating coffee shops to pickup a FREE Sticker today!

HATC Stickers:

“Respect My Space”

Let’s talk about boundaries, one of the keys to respectful interactions and relationships.

HATC recently co-produced this video for 4th graders to teach about boundaries. Please share this video with a young person in your life!

We also encourage everyone to read our prevention booklet for adults with young children in their lives. The booklet is called A Safer Family A Safer World and is available in 10 languages.

“Paws for Consent”

Everyone can practice consent, every day!

Check out this video, Consent is Everything, created by local students to help educate their peers about consent. It is used in local high school health classes.

Our Teen Handout offers information about consent and sexual assault, and our Ask for Consent infographic is a great visual to teach young folks about consent.

“I 💓 Consent A Latte”

We do love our coffee! And, we appreciate all of the local coffee shops who are helping to raise awareness and promote consent.

Show Your Support on April 26th, “Denim Day”

Denim Day 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.

National >>

Regional/King County >>

  • UW Harborview Abuse & Trauma Center (HATC) – Call 206-744-1600
  • Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program at Harborview Abuse & Trauma Center (HATC)
  • King County Sexual Assault Resource Center (KCSARC) – Call 888-99-VOICE

University of Washington >>

  • UW SafeCampus – Call 206-685-7233
    You are not alone. Call SafeCampus—no matter where you work or study—to anonymously discuss safety and well-being concerns for yourself or others.
  • UW Sexual Assault Resources
  • UW Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence Advocates (SARVA) SARVA is an entity of the Associated Students of the University of Washington that works to combat sexual assault and relationship violence in the UW community and advocate for survivors. SARVA does this by acting as liaisons between the student body and the institutional resources available, as well as through programming and activism.


2023 Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) – (PDF)



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