Hurts one . . . Affects All - Preventing Sexual Assault Is Everyone's Duty

  • Published
  • By Cheryl Jones
  • 97AMW/CVK
Have you heard the talk concerning SAAM? This is not gossip about a person who spells their name a little differently. It is not a new weapon or a new organization on the installation.

SAAM is the abbreviation for Sexual Assault Awareness Month. It was first observed nationally in April, 2001, according to information from the National Sexual Violence Resource Center. The history of Sexual Violence Prevention dates back to the 1970's in England. Women organized protests against violence began in direct response to the violence women encountered as they walked on the streets at night.

By 1978 the first events were held in the United States in San Francisco and New York City. Over time, sexual assault awareness activities expanded to include the issue of sexual violence against men and men's participation in ending sexual violence.

In the late 1980's, the National Coalition against Sexual Assault established a week in April as Sexual Assault Awareness Week. Over time some advocates began coordinating activities throughout the month of April, promoting the idea for a nationally recognized month for sexual violence awareness activities.

Nationally a theme is selected as well as with the Department of Defense. The DoD theme for 2010 is- "Hurts One . . .Affects All, Preventing Sexual Assault Is Everyone's Duty."

The Altus Air Force Base Sexual Assault Prevention (SAPR) Office has organized many activities during the month. Many are in collaboration with other organizations on the installation. Some of these include a nationally known speaker with 4 different performances over 2 days, a golf tournament, a 5k run and a class for parents and youth on internet safety.

Click here for a link to April's Sexual Assault Awareness Month Calendar.