It’s not personal (if your name is Sam). Teal is not my favorite color, but that is not why I hate Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). But every April during SAAM there is suddenly an increase level of permission to talk about rape (in some circles); the media rediscovers the problem of sexual assault, and public officials make proclamations about the need to be aware of the impact of sexual violence.
All of these are fine activities – I want to see the media cover rape cases responsibly, policy makers to support meaningful legislation that will contribute to effectively addressing sexual violence, and for sexual assault to be recognized as the significant social problem that it is.
But what about the other eleven months? We all know that rape does not happen only in April. It is just a month to highlight the work that has to take place every day, every week and every month.
As we are planning for our SAAM activities for April, I am reminded of how many people and organizations actually care about ending sexual violence. And I am excited to see our efforts to prevent sexual abuse get well deserved recognition.
It is just that sexual assault deserves attention all year.