April 2021 marks the official 20th anniversary of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Sexual Assault Awareness Month is an annual designation observed in April. The mission of this month is to raise awareness about sexual violence around the world and to educate communities on how to prevent it.  A little history: The first rape crisis center was founded in San Francisco in 1971 and this allowed to mobilize survivors and advocates to call for legislation and funding that would support survivors, such as the Violence Against Women Act of 1993. This allowed to make Sexual Assault Awareness Month first nationally observed in 2001.  Advocates had been holding events, marches, and observances related to sexual violence during the month of April, sometimes during a week-long Sexual Assault Awareness Week.   The color teal was adopted as a symbol of sexual assault awareness and prevention. Also, there is a Wednesday in April designated as Denim Day as a symbol of protest against misconceptions around sexual assault. The event was originally created in response to an Italian Supreme Court case in which a rape conviction was overruled because the victim’s tight jeans implied consent.  (Look up this case, it is really interesting!)

Here’s a list of statistics about sexual assault in the U.S:

Nearly 1 in 5 women in the United States have experienced rape (or attempted) at one point in their lives.

1 in 67 men in the United States have experienced rape (or attempted) at one point in their lives.

Every 98 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted.

Only 5 out of every 1,000 perpetrators will end up in prison.

The majority of sexual assaults happen at or near the victim’s home, often by someone they know, and/or trust.

Rape is the most under-reported crime; 63% of sexual assaults are not reported.

This month you can help this cause by wearing the color teal to honor survivors and keep the conversation going!!


Special Thanks to our Clinical Director Claudia R. D’Avila for sharing this information.