April is National Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). As part of our chapters’ commitment we worked to support national awareness campaigns, facilitated educational opportunities, and hosted events in support of this cause! Each week during #SAAM we had a specific focus to ensure a holistic approach to Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Throughout the month we tabled at market Wednesday on campus, learn more here
WEEK OF APRIL 3-9: RAISING AWARENESS START WITH THE HISTORY OF SAAM
Did you know that Sexual Assault Awareness Month has been recognized nationally since the early 2000s? For us to serve as the best advocates for a future free from violence, we have to understand our current realities and the past that led us to this point.
To help educate the chapter members about SAAM, Alpha Chi Omega created a 30-minute program, The History of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, we facilitated this during the chapter to educate members on the history of Sexual Assault Awareness Month and the prevalence of sexual violence in the United State
WEEK OF APRIL 10-16: SUPPORTING SURVIVORS SUPPORTING SURVIVORS
Often, people want to help survivors but might not know where to start. Whether someone in your life has disclosed a sexual assault to you or you just want to be prepared, take the time this month to learn about survivor response. We shared the above and below graphics to learn how to “TALK” about sexual violence. For those reading, we also want to share other resources available to help you navigate as you support the survivors in your life and in your community, as well. (we shared these on social and our internal forum, but we want everyone to have) You can utilize the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800-656-HOPE, online.rainn.org and rainn.org/es), which will connect you with a trained staff member from a sexual assault service provider in your area.
The chapter also posted affirmative graphics to show our support for survivors and show your community that you are committed to speaking up about sexual violence.
WEEK OF APRIL 17-23: ACTION AND ADVOCACY
There are many ways to take action to eradicate sexual violence, and it all starts with prevention. The only person responsible for committing sexual assault is the perpetrator, but all of us can look out for each other’s safety. The chapter worked to facilitate a conversation about bystander intervention using Alpha Chi Omega’s Challenging Bystander Behavior Program with Purpose. (see the participant worksheets we utilized below)
LEARN FROM RAINN
Alpha Chi Omega nationally is proud to be RAINN’s first national sorority partner. RAINN is the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization. RAINN created and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800-656 HOPE, online.rainn.org , and rainn.org/es) and is a national leader in survivor support and advocacy. For those reading: Here are some ways you can get involved with RAINN and better support survivors in your community. Check out RAINN’s SAAM theme this year: Let’s Heal Together.
We also posted the above poster that Alpha Chi Omega HQ shared with us. The poster was created in partnership with Pi Kappa Phi, Sigma Nu and Zeta Tau Alpha to create the Harm Reduction Alliance educational poster for members on the importance of consent. Our hope in posting in our kitchenette was that the poster would “START A CONVERSATION ON CONSENT” – so our members can Take action by talking about consent during SAAM! We recognize that asking for consent may feel uncomfortable, however, we know it is a critical part of the conversation before initiating or participating in sexual activity with a partner.
WEEK OF APRIL 24-30: REFLECTION AND REMEMBRANCE
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 26: DENIM DAY (Learn more about how AXΩ commemorated)
Denim Day is a great day to get out in your community to recognize the impact sexual violence has on all of us. Nearly 25 years ago, the Italian Supreme Court overturned a rape conviction because the justices felt that since the survivor was wearing tight jeans, she must have helped her rapist remove them, thereby implying consent. Since then, wearing jeans on Denim Day around the world has become a symbol of protest against flawed and destructive attitudes about sexual assault and a way to raise awareness during Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Learn more about the history of Denim Day.