April is Sexual Assault Awareness month

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). This is a time for advocates, survivors, their loved ones, and communities to come together to talk openly about sexual violence to support survivors, increase knowledge and awareness, and identify strategies and resources to prevent sexual violence, the Office of Family Violence Prevention and Services website states.

Copper Shores Community Health Foundation is joining the campaign by inviting the Copper Country community to join in a month of awareness and activism around the topic of sexual assault. Hosted by the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC), every April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month — a time dedicated to rising awareness around sexual assault, sexual abuse and sexual harassment, learning how to support victims and helping people access resources.

“We all play a role in preventing sexual violence,” said Rachel Lamppa, victim advocate at Copper Shores. “We can help prevent sexual abuse, sexual assault and sexual harassment by being a community that supports healthy, safe and respectful behaviors and environments.”

Sexual assault prevention is a collaborative effort involving local organizations, law enforcement agencies, educational institutions and concerned citizens, Copper Shores said in a Monday press release. By coming together, Copper Shores and its community partners aim to create a safer, more supportive environment for survivors and prevent sexual violence from occurring.

“The way that we react and respond when a victim opens up to us affects the level of trauma experienced by the victim,” explained Lamppa. “People can take an active approach by improving their own personal and professional reaction when someone discloses abuse or assault to them.”

April has been a month of solidarity for sexual assault victims since the 1990’s, but was officially dedicated as National Sexual Assault Awareness Month in 2001. Over the decades, this month of recognition has grown and expanded people’s understanding of the unique needs of sexual assault victims.

NSVRC is the leading nonprofit in providing information and tools to prevent and respond to sexual violence. NSVRC translates research and trends into best practices that help individuals, communities and service providers achieve real and lasting change. NSVRC also works with the media to promote informed reporting. Every April, NSVRC leads Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), a campaign to educate and engage the public in addressing this widespread issue. NSVRC is also one of the three founding organizations of RALIANCE, a national, collaborative initiative dedicated to ending sexual violence in one generation.

The NSVRC website states it believes sexual violence is preventable and its prevention includes the tools, research, and resources of each of these areas of expertise to promote a unified movement. Part of the movement involves having open and factual conversations, educating about healthy relationships, engaging and informing bystanders, and similar strategies contribute to positive and sustainable societal changes. NSVRC also believes efforts should simultaneously address the needs of those who have been victimized; treat, manage, and successfully reintegrate individuals who sexually offend; and build the capacity of individuals, groups, and communities to prevent sexual violence before it occurs.

Throughout the month of April, Copper Shores will be partaking in, and hosting a variety of events and activities, like Start By Believing, Denim Day and a community favorite, the Puppy Parade. Registration will open soon for the fourth annual Puppy Parade, which is taking place Thursday, April 25 at Quincy Green in Downtown Hancock. Copper Shores will also be running a social media campaign titled “30 Days of SAAM” and will publish at least one piece of content each day using the hashtag #CopperCountrySAAM. Join this campaign by following, sharing and tagging @CopperShores on Instagram, Facebook, X and LinkedIn.

To talk to someone about receiving help after sexual assault, contact the Michigan Sexual Assault Hotline by phone at 1 (855) 864-2374, text at 1 (866) 238-1454 or chat live online at mcedsv.org/hotline/hotline-chat.


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