April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), an opportunity for people and organizations across the country—including colleges and universities—to help raise awareness and learn more about the issue of sexual assault, its impact on individuals and communities, and how we can all help prevent it. Please continue reading for (1) a reminder of the year-round University initiatives and resources to address and prevent sexual assault, (2) a list of HU SAAM 2022 events and activities, (3) ways you can help raise awareness online, (4) the White House proclamation on SAAM 2022, and (5) links to local and national organizations working to end sexual violence.
Reminder of Year-Round Initiatives and Resources
Sexual Assault Awareness Month offers an opportunity to reaffirm Howard University’s ongoing commitment to creating and maintaining a safe, respectful, and inclusive learning and working environment, free from all forms of sex and gender-based discrimination, harassment, and violence, including sexual assault. The University’s year-round initiatives in support of this commitment include educating the community in recognizing, preventing, and responding effectively to sexual assault and all forms of sex and gender-based harassment and violence; the University’s Policy Prohibiting Sex and Gender-Based Discrimination, Sexual Misconduct, and Retaliation (the Title IX Policy); and the related rights, resources, and responsibilities of all members of the Howard University community. Please remember the following:
- Reporting Options - Survivors of sexual assault have the right to make a report to the Title IX Office and/or to law enforcement, as well as seek support services from confidential resources on or off campus, including the Interpersonal Violence Prevention Program (IVPP), the University Counseling Service, the Office of the Chaplains, and the Employee Assistance Program (EAP).
- Reporting Responsibilities - All Howard faculty and staff members who learn of incidents or reports of sexual assault (or any other forms of sex and gender-based discrimination, harassment, or violence) as third parties must report them to the Howard University Title IX Office so that the University can reach out and offer supportive measures to the person(s) reported to have been harmed and take appropriate steps to address the sexual misconduct, remedy the harm caused to the person who has experienced it, and prevent it from happening again.
- In Case of Emergency
- If you believe you are in immediate danger, or you believe that someone else may be in immediate danger or may present a danger to themselves or others, you should call local law enforcement at 911 or, on campus, call the Howard University Department of Public Safety (DPS) at 202-806-1100.
- If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental or emotional health crisis, contact the University Counseling Service at 202-806-6870. After hours, weekends, and holidays, contact the Counseling Service Crisis Line at 202-345-6709.
- If you or someone you know needs medical attention, call 911 or go directly to the Student Health Center or Howard University Hospital.
HU SAAM 2022 Events & Activities
The Interpersonal Violence Prevention Program (IVPP), in partnership with other campus offices and student organizations, is providing a series of SAAM events, activities, and opportunities for all members of the Howard community to get involved throughout the month of April, including:
- Take the HU Stands Pledge! – In 2018, the University launched HU Stands – a sexual assault awareness campaign designed to inspire advocacy and action against sexual assault and all forms of interpersonal violence on our campus. IVPP will be tabling throughout the month of April to encourage the campus community to take the HU Stands pledge and receive your SAAM teal ribbon and other tokens of commemoration while supplies last. If you can’t make it to the IVPP table, you can still take the HU Stands pledge here.
- Volunteer with IVPP – IVPP is looking for passionate, dedicated campus change-agents to support their street, social media, and programming teams. Complete the volunteer interest form to receive more information.
- New IVPP Webpage – The new IVPP webpage is live! Visit IVPP online for information on IVPP services, trainings, and programs, as well as campus, local and national crisis resources.
- Healthy Relationship Jeopardy - Join IVPP and UGSA on Thursday, April 7, at 5:00 p.m. (location TBA) for a classic game of Jeopardy with a healthy interpersonal twist. To register, select “participate in IVPP Jeopardy” on the volunteer interest form mentioned above.
- The Clothesline Project - On Wednesday, April 20, in the College Hall South Multipurpose Room, participants can design a t-shirt in acknowledgment of someone who has experienced interpersonal violence. Registration is requested as space and supplies are limited.
- #HUDenimDay2022 – As the longest running sexual violence prevention and education campaign in history, Denim Day asks change-agents across the world to make a social statement with their fashion by wearing jeans as a visible means of protest against the misconceptions that surround sexual violence. Learn why here and post pictures in your denim on Wednesday, April 27, using the hashtags #HUStands and #DenimDayHU2022.
Help Raise Awareness Online
The National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) has adopted the theme, Building Safe Online Spaces Together, for SAAM 2022. “Sexual harassment, assault, and abuse can happen anywhere, including in online spaces. For too long harassment, cyberbullying, and sexual abuse and exploitation have come to be expected as typical and unavoidable behaviors online. Building Safe Online Spaces Together is possible when we practice digital consent, intervene when we see harmful content and behaviors, and promote online communities that value respect, inclusion, and safety.” Here’s how you can get involved:
- #30DaysofSAAM Instagram Challenge - Join advocates, activists, survivors, and supporters who are getting involved in Sexual Assault Awareness Month this April on Instagram. Daily prompts encourage creative ways to raise awareness, educate, and connect with others — plus you have a chance to win prizes every day you participate.
- Visit NSVRC online to learn more and download social media graphics, Zoom backgrounds, and GIFs you can use to help spread awareness all this month.
- The DC Coalition to End Sexual Violence also provides ready-made posts and graphics for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Zoom, that you can use to help raise awareness.
The White House SAAM 2022 Proclamation
Read the White House’s Proclamation on National Sexual Assault Awareness And Prevention Month, 2022.
Visit the following organizations online to learn about what they are doing to educate and engage communities across the country on the issue of sexual violence, and how you can get involved:
- Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN)
- No More
- DC Coalition to End Sexual Violence
- Men Can Stop Rape
Excellence in Truth and Service,
The Title IX Office