Sexual Assault Awareness & Prevention

Trigger Warning (TW): post talks about sexual violence

April is Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month (SAAM).

Listen. Believe. Support.

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 includes any type of unwanted sexual contactincluding sexual assault, harassment, and abuse.

Source: National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC)

  • 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

Source: National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC)

  • 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)

Sexual violence can have psychological, emotional, and physical effects on a survivor.

This year’s theme, Drawing Connections: Prevention Demands Equity 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 Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month 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)

What is Intimate Partner Violence (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 (DV)?

Domestic Violence (DV) (commonly referred to as IPV) is a serious public health problem that affects millions of Americans. It is both common and preventable.

Learn more about Domestic Violence (DV) >>

DV/IPV and Firearms

Domestic Violence (DV), including Intimate Partner Violence (IPV), 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

Teen Dating Violence can take place in person, online, or through technology. It is a type of intimate partner violence (IPV) that can occur within the dating relationships of adolescents and young adults.

Learn more >> Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention

Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program

The Harborview Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) program consists of on-call forensic nurses (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners) who respond quickly to providing forensic, trauma-informed medical care to patients who have been sexually assaulted or victims of domestic violence with strangulation.

The SANE program currently provides 24/7 sexual assault forensic medical exams within the Harborview Abuse & Trauma Center (HATC) at Harborview Medical Center (HMC) and its six Seattle area medical centers:

The SANE program’s specially trained and highly skilled team of on-call forensic nurses provide compassionate and comprehensive care to patients of all ages, genders, and demographics. Patients often present with numerous risk factors for assault. 65% of sexual assault patients have a mental health condition and about 30% are unhoused.

The SANE program works closely with Emergency Department Social Work to meet patients’ needs. After a patient receives care, FREE follow-up services are also available through HATC to further support a patient’s healing and recovery.

Learn more about HATC and its SANE program >>
Learn more about Washington State Sexual Assault Forensic Exam (WASAFE) >>

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.

Resources

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.

BLOG

Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month – (Click to view)

__

SLIDE DECKS

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

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month – (PDF)

__

INFOGRAPHICS

Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM)

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (PNG) | (JPG)

What is Sexual Violence? (PNG) | (JPG)

Did You Know… (PNG) | (JPG)

Resources (PNG) | (JPG)

Take Action (PNG) | (JPG)


Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention (TDVAM)

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month – (PNG) | (JPG)

Healthy Relationship – (PNG) | (JPG)

Unhealthy Relationship – (PNG) | (JPG)

Abusive Relationship – (PNG) | (JPG)

This website is provided for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute providing medical advice or professional services. The information provided should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, and those seeking personal medical advice should consult with a licensed physician. No physician-patient relationship is created by this website or its use. Neither HIPRC, the University of Washington, nor its employees, nor any contributor to this website, makes any representations, express or implied, with respect to the information provided herein or to its use.