Each year, the University of Alaska joins the national movement to honor April as Sexual Assault Awareness and Action Month. Why do we bring awareness to this? Does this happen in our communities? According to the 2015 Alaska Victimization Survey done by the UAA Justice Center, "33% of women who reside in Alaska have experienced sexual violence". We also know from a 2010 study by the CDC that "1 in 5 women and 1 in 71 have been sexually assaulted in their lifetime" (*see the note below).
It's on all of us to create the change we want to see in our communities and provide spaces that are free of violence. I invite you to join us for the following events this month, as just some of the many ways you can be involved:
- Make some art on Thursday, April 18 from 12-3 in the commons. We'll be creating postcards of support for survivors of violence in Alaska.
- Wear Denim Day on Wednesday, April 24 in honor of this case.
- Wear Teal ribbons throughout the month (see Sam) in honor of #SAAM
Can't join any of these events but would like to get connected to folks doing this work? Check out the following organizations for stats, resources, help, and ways to help raise awareness:
- UAA's Office of Equity and Compliance and UAA's DVSA Coalition for Change & Step Up, Speak Up Campaign
- 49th Rising, An amazing organization raising awareness about sexual violence in Alaska
- ANDVSA (The Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault)
- AVV (Advocates for Victims of Violence)
- RAINN (Rape and Incest National Network)
* Keep in mind the dates of these statistics, the methods of reporting these crimes, and reasons why an individual may not disclose. For instance, men typically under-report being victims/survivors of sexual crimes. We also know that stats of victimization are higher for LGBTQ folks.