April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

 

The month of April has been designated Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) in the United States. The goal of SAAM is to raise public awareness about sexual violence and to educate communities and individuals on how to prevent sexual violence.

This year, in 2017, we are focused on saying yes to consent.       

Consent is part of preventing sexual violence.  At  Rape Response Services, we know  that our communities are safest when people say yes to consent!  Saying yes to consent means saying yes to safer communities.

Consent looks different to each of us because we all communicate and express ourselves differently. That’s why effective communication is important. Not sure? Ask. Someone may consent to intimate behavior verbally or non-verbally but, no matter how it is communicated, consent always involves the presence of an enthusiastic yes. Consent is a part of healthy sexuality and part of sexual violence prevention.

Healthy sexuality, along with consent, are important parts of sexual violence prevention AND supporting survivors.  A culture of healthy sexuality supports survivors by acknowledging that: their body is their own; they control their sexuality; and they have the right to expect that sexual partners will be respectful of their boundaries.

But consent is a part of our lives and a part of healthy communication in so many ways that have nothing to do with sex!

We are creating a consensual culture in Maine, so join us in asking for consent for:*

-taking your parents’ car for the weekend

-patting a stranger’s dog

-eating your partner’s last piece of birthday cake

-borrowing your neighbor’s lawn mower

-tickling your toddler

-giving a new friend a hug for the first time

-eating something smelly in a shared office space

-borrowing your sister’s clothes

-posting a photo of someone else on social media

-going to a friend’s house to watch the Patriot’s game

-turning the heat on when other people are in the room

-trying a bite of your friend’s food

-giving someone a hug, if you thought they were feeling sad

-borrowing a book

-going ice skating on your neighbor’s pond

-borrowing your friend’s ladder

-holding hands for the first time


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All month long we will be inviting friends and community members to share why prevention is important and why saying yes to consent is important, including local celebrities!   So please look a little further up the page to your right and visit our facebook page, or friend us, for daily updates in April on SAAM 2017.

Click here to print and share your own reasons for saying yes to consent.