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Sexual Assault Awareness Month 2017: Featuring Kasey Baker from Save Avenues

Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) is here again! This year MNCASA developed a Minnesota-specificSAAM toolkit. Here you will find printable event posters, postcards, and a twibbon (which is a social media badge for you tech challenged folks like me 🙂 Many of you have probably been busy at work planning your events. SAAM is a great time to make your services known, to reach out to the media, to host fundraising efforts, and to celebrate your organization with open houses.

It is also an opportunity to talk about reducing sexual violence and promote your prevention efforts. This year’s SAAM theme is Engaging New Voices. As the National Sexual Violence Resource Center points out:

During Sexual Assault Awareness Month survivors and advocates engage the greater community in prevention efforts. We know that one month isn’t enough to solve the serious and widespread issue of sexual violence. But the attention April generates is an opportunity to energize and expand prevention efforts. There’s no better way to expand the scope of SAAM than by reaching out to a broader audience.

That’s why Engaging New Voices is the theme of the 2017 SAAM campaign. Because we can’t reach everyone. But we can identify key leaders who will — leaders whose influence is necessary in achieving cultural change not just in April, but all year long.”

Check out how one of your fellow programs is embracing this year’s theme:

As an agency that provides sexual violence victim advocacy in five different rural counties, our goal is to have a coordinated campaign with consistent messaging throughout those communities. One of the most useful tools at our disposal has been the SAAM Campaign resources put out by the National Sexual Violence Resource Center. 

This year’s theme, “Engaging New Voices” is something that really resonated within our agency. Over the last year, our agency has embraced primary prevention as a key to changing the culture for generations to come. The 2017 NSVRC materials will help us promote that within our communities. The materials are comprehensive, professional, and come in English and Spanish. These materials provide talking points that we will utilize as we have conversations throughout our communities- on college campuses, in churches, at schools, on our airwaves and through print media as well. This year, we also took advantage of the postcards that NSVRC put together.  We will also continue to use the artwork for a window cling that NSVRC put together for a campaign several years ago.

During April, we will be hosting our 11th Annual “Hope for Tomorrow” Gala, a large fundraising and awareness event.  We will also be participating in Health Fairs on College Campuses, at community events hosted by Chamber of Commerce organizations and Child Protection Teams.  We will be engaging in further conversations with school administrators, training teachers and human service professionals, talking with students about healthy relationships, and engaging coaches in conversations about how to be positive role models. “

– Kasey Baker, Community Outreach at Safe Avenues in Willmar