National leaders usher in Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Enola, Pennsylvania, UNITED STATES

ENOLA, PA., March 31, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Each April, the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) launches a national campaign for Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) that educates communities and individuals on how to prevent sexual violence. This year's prevention campaign coincides with the 20th anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act.

NSVRC aims to curb violence before it starts, so that is why this year's SAAM campaign, "It's Time … to talk about it! Your voice. Our future. Prevent sexual violence," focuses on healthy sexuality and young people.

Sexual violence is a widespread, public health problem that impacts one in six boys and one in four girls (Dube et al., 2005). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals that one in five female victims and one in seven male victims who ever experience rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner were first victimized between the ages of 11 and 17 years old (Breiding, Chen, & Black, 2014).

The campaign underscores national efforts to eliminate sexual violence and is supported by President Barack Obama. "The Nation has made meaningful progress toward addressing sexual assault. Where victims were once left without recourse, laws have opened a path to safety and justice; where a culture of fear once kept violence hidden, survivors are more empowered to speak out and get help. But even today, too many women, men, and children suffer alone or in silence, burdened by shame or unsure anyone will listen. This month, we recommit to changing that tragic reality by stopping sexual assault before it starts and ensuring victims get the support they need" (Obama, 2013).

SAAM 2014 engages adults in supporting positive youth development, and encourages young people to be activists for change. In addition to monthlong events across the country, the SAAM "Day of Action," on Tuesday, April 1, will highlight nationally coordinated ways people can get involved in-person and online.

For resources and information, visit Spanish-language materials also are available at Founded by the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape in 2000, the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) develops and disseminates resources regarding all aspects of sexual violence prevention and intervention.


Breiding, M. J., Chen J., & Black, M. C. (2014). Intimate partner violence in the United States — 2010. Retrieved from the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

Dube, S. R., Anda, R. F., Whitfield, C.L., Brown, D. L., Felitti, V. J., Dong, M., & Giles, W. H. (2005). Long-term consequences of childhood sexual abuse by gender of victim. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 28, 430–438. doi:10.1016/j.amepre.2005.01.015

Obama, B. (2013). Presidential proclamation: National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, 2013. Retrieved from


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