Hello, parents and guardians!
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM)! While recent media coverage has created a newfound focus on sexual assault, such as the #MeToo movement and corresponding corporate fallout, talking about sexual assault is still often viewed as taboo. Yet, statistics show that 1 in 5 women and 1 in 33 men will experience an attempted or completed sexual assault in their lifetime. Sadly, these rates increase for adolescents and young adults. To mitigate perpetration and ensure students’ well being, we at InterAct will lead a conversation regarding sexual assault, consent, communication, and healthy boundaries this month at the WELL.
Sexual assault is a broadly categorized as when one person forces another to do something sexual that they do not want to do. Perpetration can occur through physical, verbal, or emotional coercion. Due to the prevalence of boundary-pushing, it can be hard for people to acknowledge the possibility that they experienced sexual assault. By defining sexual assault, discussing active consent, boundaries, respect, and empathy, we hope to give your children the vocabulary and background knowledge to unpack sexual assault and promote healthy, respectful partnerships.
Much of what we are taught by society about ourselves, about consent, and about respect cannot be undone in one conversation. We urge you to consider talking about sexual assault, consent, and boundaries with your children outside of school. Check in with them to see if they or their peers are dealing with this, create an open space for conversation with them outside of the walls of the WELL.
Analyzing and unpacking consent and sexual assault can be difficult, triggering, and sometimes traumatic. While we at InterAct hope to foster an open, safe space to ensure that students’ feel comfortable during our discussion, they may feel a need for more support after our session together. For resources and support, we recommend the following organizations:
- Love is Respect (loveisrespect.org)
- Break the Cycle (breakthecycle.org)
- RAINN (Rain.org)
This will be our last meeting of the academic year, and we thank you for your support and trust. As always, if you have any questions about any of the topics presented above or would like to ask us questions directly, please feel free to contact us at [email protected] or call at (919) 828-7501.