A Reflection on Sexual Assault Awareness Month in our Prevention Clubs
May 18, 2018
Written by Devan Haddad, Prevention Educator
Recipe for a successful Sexual Assault Awareness Month:
- 2,500 teal ribbons
- 5 yards of denim fabric
- 6 Monterey County High Schools
- 1 clothesline display
- 257 teal flags
- And a whole lot of teen social justice warriors!
Combine ingredients and voilà - you’ve got yourself one amazing SAAM!
Okay, maybe there are a few additional key ingredients needed, but you get where we’re going with this!
As has been done in the past, we held Flag Day at each of the schools this April. We know that in the U.S. someone is sexually assaulted every 98 seconds. If we expand that out to a 7 hour school day, it amounts to 257 sexual assaults by the end of an average school day. We visually display this with 257 teal flags in a central location on campus in addition to club members talking to their peers about sexual violence and inviting them to take a stand by wearing a teal ribbon. This event is a great opportunity for students to put their knowledge and advocacy skills into action. This year a record number of 2,500 teal ribbons were given out!
This year we decided to add a new element to our Denim Day events at the high schools - a clothesline display. The clothesline contains 10 real stories of sexual assault from survivors, a related statistic, and a myth & fact to pair with a re-creation of the clothing they were wearing at the time of the assault. The purpose of the display is to visually convey that clothing choices never contribute to someone being sexually assaulted and that the choice to sexually assault someone is entirely the fault of the perpetrator.
In addition to the two campus-wide events at all 6 schools, we received a grant from the Monterey County Department of Public Health to award Salinas High and Everett Alvarez High students a monetary stipend in exchange for creating and bringing to life their very own sexual violence prevention-based project. From social media campaigns to posters made and displayed around campuses to creating a school-wide video lesson with a quiz, our 5 student-interns worked hard to craft their projects!
We are incredibly proud of and continually inspired by the dedication of our club members this past school year and during SAAM! We are looking forward to the next SAAM and to continue working with the amazing youth of Monterey County in the fight to end sexual violence.