All thirty days in April are devoted to Sexual Assault Awareness and are advocated around the world to raise awareness about sexual violence and educate communities on how to prevent it. Talking about sexual assault helps end the stigma and with continuing support, we can all decrease the amount of sexual assaults that occur every year. Now is the time for all of us to educate and engage in this issue and fight to put an end to it worldwide.

Prevention

Education on prevention is the best way to stop sexual assault before it starts and is the ultimate goal of this campaign. April generates an opportunity to energize and expand prevention efforts throughout the year.

This year’s theme is I ASK because consent is a healthy, normal, and natural part of every sexual encounter. Asking for and obtaining consent shows respect for yourself and partner, creates boundaries, and eliminates the entitlement that one partner might feel over the other. Neither your body nor your sexuality belongs to someone else.

What consent looks like:

  • Communicating when you change the type or degree of sexual activity with phrases like “Is this OK?”
  • Explicitly agreeing to certain activities, either by saying “yes” or another affirmative statement, like “I’m open to trying.”
  • Using physical cues to let the other person know you’re comfortable taking things to the next level

What consent doesn’t look like:

  • Refusing to acknowledge “no”
  • Assuming that wearing certain clothes, flirting, or kissing is an invitation for anything more
  • Someone being under the legal age of consent, as defined by the state
  • Someone being incapacitated because of drugs or alcohol
  • Pressuring someone into sexual activity by using fear or intimidation
  • Assuming you have permission to engage in a sexual act because you’ve done it in the past

Advocating

Join Lone Star Legal Aid and the Texas Crime Victim Legal Assistance Network this April to promote Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Educate and encourage others on safe and healthy relationships and why consent is always the first step. Use your voice and any platform you have to help us and the world end sexual assault. You can participate by wearing the color teal to honor survivors and keep the conversation thriving.

Social media hashtags:

#SexualAssaultAwarenessMonth

#SAAM2020

#SexualAssault

#IASK

Lone Star Legal Aid’s Legal Aid to Survivors of Sexual Assault Unit shares information in support of Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month.

Nuestra unidad de ayuda para sobrevivientes de agresión sexual comparte información en apoyo del Mes de Concientización y Prevención de Agresión Sexual.

President Donald Trump’s National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month Proclamation can be accessed here

If you or a loved one are a victim of abuse and need assistance, you can visit the Texas Crime Victim Legal Assistance Network.

Lone Star Legal Aid is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit law firm focused on advocacy on behalf of low-income and underserved populations. Lone Star Legal Aid serves the millions of people at 125% of federal poverty guidelines that reside in 72 counties in the eastern and Gulf Coast regions of Texas, and 4 counties of southwest Arkansas. Lone Star Legal Aid focuses its resources on maintaining, enhancing, and protecting income and economic stability; preserving housing; improving outcomes for children; establishing and sustaining family safety and stability, health and well‐being; and assisting populations with special vulnerabilities, like those who have disabilities, or who are elderly, homeless, or have limited English language skills. To learn more about Lone Star Legal Aid, visit our website at www.lonestarlegal.org

Media contact: Clarissa Ayala, cayala@lonestarlegal.org