Image reading I Ask, Sexual Assault Awareness Month, April 2019

Sexual Assault Awareness Month 2019: I Ask

By Breckan Erdman, NRCDV Program Specialist

“Prevention is everyone’s responsibility: All of us can create and promote safe environments. We can intervene to stop concerning behavior; promote and model healthy attitudes and relationships; and believe survivors and assist them in finding resources.” – National Sexual Violence Resource Center

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), and in recognition of SAAM 2019, we are uplifting the National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s theme: “I Ask.” The “I Ask” campaign champions the message that asking for consent is a healthy and normal part of everyday interactions, from holding hands to having sex. We know from last year’s campaign that our voices have power – power to share our stories, support marginalized survivors, speak out against systems of oppression, and promote healthy norms by asking for everyday consent. Engaging in conversations with our partners, children, and friends about consent is #1Thing that we can all do to promote safe and healthy relationships.

As NSVRC Prevention Campaign Specialist Susan Sullivan shares in our April TA Question of the Month, “the majority of people want their partners to feel safe, comfortable, and respected.”

Consent is about more than just not perpetrating sexual violence – clear communication between partners about boundaries, relationship dynamics, and desires is a key component of building healthy relationships and engaging in sexual activity that is safe and enjoyable for everyone involved. In order to spark conversations about consent, NSVRC has developed a series of “I Ask” handouts and palm cards on a range of consent-related topics:

   •     I Ask for Consent
   •     I Ask for Digital Consent
   •     I Ask How to Teach Consent Early
   •     I Ask How Power Impacts Consent

Because NRCDV stands with survivors of domestic and sexual violence, especially those most marginalized, we believe that shifting social norms to promote consent in our daily interactions is an important part of creating the world in which we wish to live, with gender and racial equity for all. To learn more about how you can take action to prevent sexual violence and normalize everyday consent for Sexual Assault Awareness Month, access NSVRC’s SAAM Campaign Toolkit & Social Media Guide, Event Planning Guide, and the #30DaysofSAAM 2019 Instagram Contest. And be sure to check out our April Prevention Tool of the Month, Project Consent, and other exciting and innovative programs that offer resources for promoting healthy relationships in the PreventIPV Tools Inventory.