SUBLETTE COUNTY – For the past 16 years, April has been declared Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) by towns, counties and states around the country. This year is no different.
The towns of Pinedale, Big Piney and Marbleton joined the county commissioners, Gov. Matt Mead and the president in declaring April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
This year’s theme for SAAM, “Engaging New Voices,” builds on the idea that we are stronger together, and that new partners and community members are needed to expand sexual assault prevention efforts. We can all help the next generation foster attitudes that promote healthy relationships, equality and respect.
Every 98 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted (rainn.org). We all have a role to play in preventing sexual violence in Sublette County. Our actions, big and small, have a ripple effect on those we teach, guide and influence. From modeling healthy behavior to addressing inappropriate conduct, everyone can make a difference.
Sometimes it can be kind of hard to understand why we have awareness months. I think we all know that rape happens so what can change by having an awareness month? Part of what happens is that people talk about it, and when people talk, they often act. It might prompt you to have a conversation with your son about how important consent is or to teach your daughter she can say no in any situation.
Changing beliefs that contribute to sexual violence can start with believing survivors of sexual violence when they share their stories. You can help by calling out victim-blaming comments or rape jokes if you see them online. Remind those around you that sexual assault is never the victim’s fault. Seemingly small actions like this make a critical impact. We often have conversations about things we see in the news or in our community so as you read this article or see the teal ribbons around town, take the time to think about what you can do to end violence in Sublette County.
Join us in embracing your role in ending sexual assault in our communities. Learn more about how you can use your voice to change the culture by contacting the Sublette County SAFV Task Force at 367-6305 or by email at [email protected]
Thank you to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center for the use of their template letter.