April is National Sexual Assault Awareness Month. From finding out how to support survivors of sexual assault to understanding the reality of sexual assault in America, there are plenty of ways you can get involved and help prevent sexual violence.
Sexual violence is an epidemic in the United States, as shown by the many shocking statistics on sexual assault. A recent study by PRRI found that 73 percent of Millennials say sexual assault is common on college campuses. Six in 10 Millennials believe that colleges are not doing enough to address the problem. This is directly reflective of a study done in 2014 that found 40 percent of college campuses didn’t investigate any sexual assault allegations over a five year timespan.
In the survey done by PRRI, 15 percent of Millennials said they had been the victims of sexual assault. More than twice that number report knowing of a close friend or family member that had been assaulted. This is unfortunately not surprising given that every 98 seconds, someone in the United States is sexually assaulted.
These facts are devastating, but they don’t need to be our future. There are numerous groups already working to end sexual violence through education, legislation, and supporting survivors. Here are 11 organizations you can support to help prevent sexual assault, both during Sexual Assault Awareness Month and beyond.
The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) is the largest anti-sexual violence organization in the country. RAINN works to educate the public on sexual violence, providing up-to-date research and statistics on sexual assault. The organization also provides resources and support for sexual assault survivors, including a 24/7 live chat and hotline. 93 percent of every dollar donated goes directly to programs that support survivors and help prevent sexual violence. Donate to RAINN here.
NO MORE is a coalition of allies, advocates, survivors, government agencies, and individual citizens working toward preventing sexual violence. Instead of donations, you can shop NO MORE’s products and the proceeds go directly to their partner organizations which work toward advocacy and prevention. Similar to an awareness ribbon, wearing or displaying their products spreads awareness and breaks down the stigma of being a survivor of sexual violence. You can also learn more about how to get involved with NO MORE here.
3National Sexual Violence Resource Center
The National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) is working to prevent sexual violence through education, collaboration, and resources for survivors. Their recent study in perceptions of assault is eye opening and proof that we need to be talking more as a culture about what constitutes consent. Donate to the NSVRC here.
4National Alliance to End Sexual Violence
The National Alliance to End Sexual Violence (NAESV) focuses on legislation that supports survivors and prevents sexual violence. It was created by a coalition of statewide organizations, local rape crisis centers, and advocates. NAESV has helped accomplish anti-sexual violence work at a national level, including the 2013 reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. Donate to NAESV here.
5End Rape On Campus
End Rape On Campus (EROC) is working to specifically address and prevent widespread sexual assault that happens in colleges. Through education and advocacy, EROC is educating people on college campuses about sexual assault and supporting survivors of campus sexual violence. They’re currently working to defeat Texas Senate Bill 576, which makes failing to report campus sexual violence to colleges a misdemeanor. While it sounds good in theory, EROC stresses that this bill does not account for the trauma it inflicts upon survivors. Donate to EROC here.
women have tweeted me sexual assault stories for 14 hours straight. Minimum 50 per minute. harrowing. do not ignore. #notokay— kelly oxford (@kellyoxford) October 8, 2016
#NOTokay is a campaign by the Canadian organization YWCA. Inspired by writer Kelly Oxford sharing her story about being sexually assaulted, #NOTOkay combats the stigma associated with reporting sexual assault and is opening up conversations about consent. Find out how you can get involved with #NOTokay here.
7The Consensual Project
Quality sexual communication heightens our awareness of the subtleties of coercion. Coercion free=sex-y! http://t.co/WsbbHGN2— TheConsensualProject (@TheConsensual) January 4, 2013
The Consensual Project partners with schools to educate students on consent. It’s giving young people resources on how to have conversations about consent, showing that asking consent isn’t awkward and sets the mood rather than “ruining” it. Find out how you can get involved with The Consensual Project here.
8Know Your IX
Know Your IX is a survivor- and youth-led organization empowering students to help end sexual violence at their schools. They’re creating a network of young advocates to enact policy change in schools and educate fellow students on consent and sexual violence. Donate to Know Your IX here.
9The Grateful Garment Project
The Grateful Garment Project (TGGP) supports survivors who seek medical attention or report it to their authorities by providing them with new clothing, food, and other necessities. As their site states, “Our scope is wide but our purpose is narrow.” TGGP is working to prevent further trauma in sexual assault survivors immediately, making sure they leave the hospital with fresh clothing. Donate to TGGP here.
10Your Local Domestic Violence Shelters
Make sure survivors in your community are getting the support they need. You can find your local domestic violence shelters here.
11Your Local Anti-Violence Project
"There is a world of violence that people who are not perceived as 'normal' experience" -- AVP Speakers Bureau Sheba speaking out. pic.twitter.com/tZOgzsa9Cx— AVP (@antiviolence) April 4, 2017
The Anti-Violence Project (AVP) specifically supports LGBTQ survivors, one of the most targeted groups of sexual violence. Support survivors in your community by finding your local chapter here or donate to the primary branch of AVP in New York here.