April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). This year’s theme is healthy sexuality, which I think is a theme particularly well-suited to healthcare providers. Head over to the NSVRC site (or here for Spanish) to check out their resources and events, including Tweet About It Tuesdays! (http://twitter.com/nsvrc #Tweetaboutit), which will feature some great hosts leading hour-long health sexuality chats on Twitter every Tuesday in April. And VAWnet has posted a great overview of how you can talk about healthy sexuality to prevent sexual violence.

Every year there’s also a Day of Action during SAAM–this year it’s April 3rd. I hope all of you will think about what you can do to promote this year’s theme and contribute to the dialogue about healthy sexuality. Not sure you even know the words to use? NSVRC has you covered with a glossary of healthy sexuality terms (PDF) that should provide a solid foundation for starting those conversations. Need help with where to begin? Then take a look at the fact sheets and scenarios available to help guide the discussions:

This fact sheet provides an overview for parents and caregivers on how to your children about healthy sexual development. Also available in Spanish.
This fact sheet highlights the importance of consent in healthy sexual interactions and provides information on defining and establishing consent. Also available in Spanish.
This fact sheet discusses the impact of gender norms on sexuality and examples of how healthier, less restrictive gender norms can prevent violence and promote healthy relationships. Also available in Spanish.
This fact sheet provides an overview of sexuality in later life and information and resources to promote health and safety for older adults. Also available in Spanish.

***Want to take your conversations online? WCSAP has a comprehensive primer on how to use Twitter to talk about prevention. I’ll be prepping for some heavy duty travel on April 3rd, so I suspect much of my own action will be via Twitter (@ForensicHealth #SAAM). Hope you’ll join me!