April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month
Each April, Sexual Assault Victim Services (SAVS), a program of Napa Emergency Women’s Services (NEWS), recognizes Sexual Assault Awareness Month. This year’s motto is: “It’s time ... to talk about it! Talk early, talk often. Prevent sexual violence.”
We ask all of Napa County to join the conversation — focus on healthy sexuality and child sexual abuse prevention and start talking about healthy childhood development to prevent child sexual abuse.
Not easy topics to discuss, but national statistics indicate that
1 in 5 women and 1 in 71 men will be raped at some point in their lives.
Confronting child abuse must be a priority when the reality is that as many as 1 in 6 boys and
1 in 3 girls will experience a sexual assault before age 18.
Most abusers are adults and
93 percent of survivors know their abusers, who, in many cases, are family members. Less than
20 percent will ever tell anyone that it happened. In 2012, SAVS provided services for almost 300 survivors throughout Napa County — 147 under age 18.
Please help us end sexual violence toward our children and our adults:
• Get the facts. Sexual assault is a crime of control, not passion.
• Voice the truth. It is never OK for someone to force sex.
• Confront “rape myths.” Openly disagree with victim-blaming.
• Volunteer. Take the NEWS training to become a sexual assault and domestic violence counselor.
• Join our Coaches Campaign. If you are a coach of any sport, join coaches throughout Napa County who have taken a stand against sexual assault by signing a pledge saying they have zero tolerance for any form of sexual abuse. NEWS believes that the majority of coaches are trusted adults who share our concern for the protection of children and young adults and they support, mentor, and serve as good role models for their youth.
For more information and to obtain a copy of the pledge, call 707-252-3687 and ask to speak with any SAVS staff member.
Begin this April, and make all year long “the time ... to talk about it.”
Other Sexual Assault Awareness Month Events:
April 9th Clothesline Project at Napa Valley College 9:30am-1:30pm
The Clothesline Project (CLP) is a vehicle for women affected by violence to express their emotions by decorating a shirt. They then hang the shirt on a clothesline to be viewed by others as testimony to the problem of violence against women.
April 24th Denim Day Event at Pacific Union College 10:30am-1:30pm
In 1999, the Italian Supreme Court overturned a rape conviction because the victim was wearing tight jeans. The Judge argues, “because the victim wore very, very tight jeans, she had to help him remove them,” concluding “it was no longer rape but consensual sex.” Wearing jeans is a symbol of protest against destructive attitudes about sexual assault.