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April is National Sexual Assault Awareness Month

April is the month where we show respect to those who have lost a piece of them to sexual violence.

U.S.+Coast+Guard+Sexual+Assault+Prevention%2C+the+advocate+against+sexual+violence+for+the+month+of+April.%0A
U.S. Coast Guard Sexual Assault Prevention, the advocate against sexual violence for the month of April.

U.S. Coast Guard Sexual Assault Prevention, the advocate against sexual violence for the month of April.

Photo by: Kelly Parker

Photo by: Kelly Parker

U.S. Coast Guard Sexual Assault Prevention, the advocate against sexual violence for the month of April.

Tia Roberts, staff reporter

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The month of April… when new beginnings occur, where flowers bloom, dreams and wishes fume into the air, but for some, it is to take a moment of silence to give those who have been sexually assaulted and give them their chance to be heard again an to gain the care and respect they deserve.

National Sexual Assault Awareness Month or Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) is an annual campaign during the month of April that started in 2001. Their mission is to raise awareness against sexual violence through a collaboration of research-based resources to create an environment where all people are treated with dignity and civility, as all listed in the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC). This month could mean many things for individuals that have been sexually assaulted, that could range from different gamuts of emotion, it can be a time when they’re seen and heard once again and where some are fighting to prevent sexual abuse.

Assistant Principal Soul Singh is well-known for her speeches about submerged topics during Regal Rams for freshman students. Singh believes that SAAM’s purpose is to bring awareness that sexual assault is a very prevalent thing that happens in society and that unfortunately a lot of people do not feel safe and comfortable to report it.

“So to me the awareness is that it’s to let people know it’s happening, that’s also to empower those who have been assaulted to report,” Singh said.

Rape has been more common in today’s society, only having 17.7 million reports of women being sexually assaulted since 1998 as listed on the website metoomvmt.org, showing millions violated the word “consent.”

Photo by: Surdumihail
A poster that says #metoo to show support for the feminist movement.

Recently, the #metoo movement, originally founded by activists Tarana Burke in the year 2006, was named as “Person of the Year,” (person of the year are all the people women and men, not Burke)  by Time Magazine. The movement became viral the past year, being searched up by 196 countries on Google, and the movement has been making a big difference pushing the conversation about sexual violence alongside with the movement Time’s Up.

Time’s Up shares similar goals with the #metoo movement but is mainly focused on a concrete change in the safety and equality in a workplace. This was started by over 300 women in Hollywood, including Reese Witherspoon, Shonda Rhimes, and Natalie Portman, as all stated in the article “#MeToo and Time’s Up Founders Explain the Difference Between the 2 Movements — And How They’re Alike” written by Alix Langone.

Sophomore Anahi Salgado thinks that people should help bring out the idea that everyone is responsible for their actions regardless because people can’t get away with something so ugly.

“Honestly it stays common. Like the misunderstanding consent, people need to learn what that is and how it portrays in different ways. People shouldn’t think that there’s only one way of saying no,” Salgado said.

According to the organization Goodtherapy, if an individual wants to raise awareness and avoid rape culture, simply follow the following five steps. Believing loved ones who tell you they were abused, avoiding making sensitive jokes about rape or using rape as a metaphor for minor suffering, being mindful of triggering language and stimuli, offering love and support to friends or family members who have survived an abuse.

Senior guidance and career cruising counselor, Carolyn Harrell thinks that we need to continue to let the music, television, and music industries know it’s not acceptable to portray rape as acceptable or even the victim’s fault.

“Helping them understand that they are the victim and not to blame, and to help them seek the proper treatment and counseling if needed. Continue to be there to support them and listen as needed, professional help is the best,” Harrell said.

The campus here provides organizations, staff members and more to students that need aid when dealing with sexual abuse.

“We have respect week and it talks about how healthy relationship, also the Regal Ram programs talks about from the boys and girls side about how to maintain and develop healthy relationships. To understand your triggers and if something makes you feel uncomfortable and it’s probably not a good thing, so listen to your intuition. Those types of activities and individually anytime that we have a situation coming into the AP’s office, we take it seriously and that’s how we help,” Singh said.

 

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April is National Sexual Assault Awareness Month