April is a month to educate our families, friends, and communities about the realities of sexual violence and spearhead efforts to prevent it in the future. As faithful people, it is our responsibility to help end sexual assault by standing on the side of survivors and talking about respectful, safe, and healthy relationships in our communities. While we recognize that faith communities hold a range of expectations about sex, all faithful people can play a role by speaking out against this injustice.
According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC): one in five women in the United States experienced completed or attempted rape during their lifetime and nearly a quarter (24.8%) of men in the U.S. experienced some form of contact sexual violence in their lifetime. Sexual assault can happen to anyone, regardless of race, gender, faith, age, or sexuality and it is a rampant epidemic on college campuses. In 2022, Sexual Assault Awareness Month is focusing on creating safer online experiences because everyone has the right to an experience free from danger. We are all responsible -- clergy, cultural and religious groups, youth, parents, and teachers -- for preventing sexual violence.
Nobody wants to think that people in our congregations and communities could be experiencing sexual assault. And we make it harder to disclose if we never acknowledge that sexual violence is an issue. This month is the perfect opportunity to speak up about sexual assault and spread awareness. Safe Havens has developed some resources to help faith leaders do just that.
Below are links for a Sexual Assault Awareness Month Flyer (also shown to the right) and a resource for supporting victims of sexual violence in our faith communities. Faith communities can publish either or both in their bulletins, on their websites, or on their social media. Click on the buttons below to download these resources.
Thank you for your help in raising awareness about sexual assault!