Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Suzi Riot
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. I used to really dislike the whole “issue of the month” thing, but I have found through my work with issues-based nonprofits that the tactic does actually succeed in educating and encouraging people to action.

You might think that rape is something most normal, seemingly psychologically healthy Americans could agree is bad. You’d be wrong. Victims of rape continue to be ostracized, blamed for their assault, made to feel ashamed, and denied proper medical treatment. Legislators in several states are trying to pass laws that would provide legal amnesty for any health care provider that denied Plan B contraception to rape victims. Just this past week, a Nebraska appeals court rejected a woman’s lawsuit against a judge who banned the word “rape” from being used in the – wait for it – trial of the man who allegedly raped her.

While Cheuvront barred Bowen from using phrases and words like “rape kit” and “victim” in her testimony, he allowed Safi’s attorneys to use words such as “sex” and “intercourse” when describing the encounter between Safi and Bowen.

There are plenty of people out there who have very fucked up ideas about what rape is, why rape happens, and the lasting consequences – physical and psychological – that rape victims experience. So educate yourselves, educate others, and check out these websites:

National Sexual Violence Resource Center

Human Rights Watch


Family Violence Prevention Fund

CDC Sexual Violence Prevention


~ by Suzi Riot on April 8, 2008.

9 Responses to “Sexual Assault Awareness Month”

  1. You’re so right about the lack of awareness and the need to educated the public.

  2. I meant “educate” the public. Also, I wanted to add that I wasn’t even AWARE that this is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. So there.

  3. I commented at your place, but what the hell, the more comments the merrier, so, what SWB said.

  4. What’s kinda sad is that we NEED a month to make everyone aware of what we should be aware of ALL the time.

  5. I’m still waiting for “Awareness” Awareness Month.

    Instead we seem to have “Obliviousness” 24/7.

    God Bless the Empire, and pass the Vicodin.

  6. I had no idea there was a rape awareness month, but I think it’s a good idea. The problem is…not many people are aware of the awareness month which doesn’t say much for our society who tends to ignore this evil in our society. There’s nothing worse than raising a daughter, especially when the incidents of date rape has risen to an all time high.

    I was in the car with my son and he had his favorite radio station on and instead of tuning the music out, I listened to what they were singing about…it was a song about a guy who date raped his girlfriend and she pressed charges and he ended up in jail crying that he was being raped by his fellow inmates. It was really creepy. My son argued that the song is against rape because it shows the consequences of the guys actions, but to me, it felt like it made light of the rape and turned the raper into the victim and making the girl he raped the evil person for reporting it. …whatever happened to songs about love?

  7. what a judge — you wonder how he would feel if he was the victim of such a violent crime


  8. In a country where ‘Awareness’ is trivialized to the point of Hallmark card moments like ‘Blood Pressure Awareness Month’, ‘Diabetes Awareness Month’ or ‘Fruit Fly Awareness Month’ I’m not at all surprised people aren’t aware of ‘Rape Awareness month’. How about focusing on a ‘Common Damn Decency Awareness Year’. Nah! – ‘Obesity Awareness Month’ is coming right up.

  9. When I was yet a wee lad, and still in school, we studied a case in Texas where a man came home, found his wife in bed with another man, and shot them.

    I can’t remember if he killed both of them, but I know the woman died.

    He was given probation by the judge, and as part of his explanation the judge said, “I probably would have done the same thing.”

    I know it’s not rape/sexual assault, but it still reinforces the Vagina=Property mentality.

    Susan- Don’t forget to pick up a ribbon for your lapel (Do women have lapels?), at the gas station.

    Everyone is wearing them.

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