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April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Categories: DVIPP, News, Violence Prevention & Outreach


BY: CAROL SMITH,  Domestic Violence Intervention and Prevention Program Outreach Coordinator 

Every 68 seconds a sexual assault occurs in America.1  

  • On the first day of April approximately 1,271 sexual assaults will have occurred. 
  • The first week of April, 8,894 sexual assaults will have occurred. 
  • For the month of April, 38,118 sexual assaults will have occurred. 
  • In 2020, more than 320,000 women and men reported being sexually assaulted.  
  • Numbers are climbing back up. 

 It is important to know that behind every number on those statistics is a person who experienced a violation of their person in a sexual way. But knowing is just not enough. In fact, becoming aware of the problem and doing nothing will likely result in anxiety.  

So, what can you do? 

I am so glad you asked. Action is the answer. Action does not have to be grand, although if you can make a grand gesture, then go for it. It can be simple everyday things you can do in your relationships, in your homes, in your schools, and in your workplace.  

  • Prevention: Learn ways to prevent sexual assault by teaching consent, learn to set boundaries and respect boundaries, create environments that allow for transparency and openness 
  • Education: Support education in our schools, workplace, and homes about consent, boundaries, and speaking out when someone is violated 
  • Advocate for those who are survivors by providing support and supporting organizations that advocate for victims of violent crimes 
  • Commit to be active in the fight to end violence but also support peace in your community 
  • Ending sexual violence starts with becoming aware and moving towards action.  

You can sign the PEACE AGREEMENT as a sign of your commitment to ending sexual violence in your community. YWCA and other amazing organizations in your state are working towards intervening and preventing violence. Join us for the following days: 

April 5th-Day of Action: wear the color teal in support of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, visit YWCA and CARE at Purdue from noon-2pm in front of the WALC (Wilmeth Active Learning Center) Building to sign the agreement, or visit YWCA and sign the agreement! 

April 15th– Take Back the Night at Purdue University (more details to come) 

April 27th-Wear Denim (more details to come) 

Know the stats:  

  • 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men will experience sexual violence with physical contact in their lifetime (CDC (Centers for Disease Control)). 
  • Close to 1 in 5 women and 1 in 38 men have experienced completed or attempted rape, and 1 in 14 men has been made to penetrate someone (complete or attempted) during his lifetime (CDC).  

Children are experiencing sexual assault at alarmingly young ages: 

  • 1 in 3 female rape victims experience it for the first time between 11-17 years old, and 1 in 8 reported that it occurred before age 10 (CDC). 
  • Close to 1 in 4 men rape victims experience it for the first time between 11-17 years old, and about 1 in 4 reported that it occurred before age 10 (CDC).  
  • Adverse childhood experiences (ACE) increase revictimization into adulthood. 47.9% of victims of child abuse are at risk of experiencing sexual violence as adults.  

After signing the PEACE AGREEMENT, consider ways you can make a difference in your corner. As the Outreach Coordinator, I am available to come and talk to organizations and schools about healthy relationships, healthy boundaries, signs of abuse, and ways to create safe and healthy environments.  

For more information, visit the LinkTree .



  1. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics, National Crime Victimization Survey, 2019 (2020). 
  1. Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/sexualviolence/fastfact.html