4 weeks ago · Leah Fogt · 0 comments
The April marks the 18th annual Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) campaign. This year’s theme, “I Ask” builds on the idea that consent is a healthy, normal, and necessary part of everyday interactions. “I Ask” champions the power of asking — whether it be asking to hold someone’s hand, for permission to share personal information with others, or if a partner is interested in sex. It also highlights the importance of listening to and accepting the answer without pressuring someone to change their mind.
Working with survivors of sexual violence is a big part of my work as a Certified Trauma Practitioner, as sadly the problem is all too prevalent. In the U.S., one in three women and one in six men experienced some form of contact sexual violence in their lifetime. I am proud to offer EMDR Therapy as a highly effective, evidence-based form of psychotherapy that promotes healing and empowerment for survivors. Part of the healing process can including activism and awareness building, so I encourage all my clients, but especially those who are survivors of sexual violence, to join me in spreading the word about this year’s “I Ask” SAAM campaign.
Launched in April 2001 by the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC), Sexual Assault Awareness Month is an annual awareness and prevention campaign observed in April and is coordinated each year with assistance from anti-sexual assault organizations throughout the United States. For more information on this year’s national campaign, visit www.nsvrc.org/saam.
Consent can be confused or complicated with one partner of a relationship holds more power than the other. It is important to be aware of how balance or imbalance of power can impact healthy intimacy in relationships. There are ways to make sure your partner feels comfortable communicating their needs. As a part of the “I Ask!” campaigne, here are some suggestions from NSVRC about power and consent that can be helpful in navigating relationships with love and respect.
Smith, S. G., Chen, J., Basile, K. C., Gilbert, L. K., Merrick, M. T., Patel, N., … Jain, A. (2017). The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS): 2010-2012 state report. Retrieved from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control: https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/NISVS-StateReportBook.pdf