April is full of opportunities to talk about sexual violence prevention as well as the prevention of related forms of violence. This month we recognize Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), Child Abuse Prevention Month, International Anti-Street Harassment Week (April 2-18), National Youth Violence Prevention Week (April 3-7), and National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (April 2-8). Each of these campaigns have a specific issue they are focused on, at least in their titles, but at their core these campaigns really have the same end goal– a future of healthy and equitable communities where people thrive.
During this year’s SAAM, CALCASA has focused on the importance of an intersectional approach to ending sexual violence. Collaboration and alignment with other social justice efforts allows those working in the field to not only strengthen advocacy efforts and support for survivors, but to also expand prevention strategies and initiatives. Prevention efforts that work to change the societal and cultural factors that allow sexual violence to happen also have the power to work against poverty, racism, homophobia, transphobia, and gender inequity. By understanding sexual violence as part of a larger system of oppression, solutions – and prevention – can start to look different
Let’s use the month of April to shine a light on the connections, intersections, and interactions of all forms of oppression and let that inform the continued work to prevent sexual violence and build healthy communities all year round.