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April is typically known for special things like Easter, spring flowers blooming, and the final countdown for college students. More recently, however, April has become Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Unfortunately, there has been a viral TikTok trend regarding April 24th as “National Rape Day.”

This all started when a group of men on TikTok planned to commit sexual assault on April 24th and encouraged other men to do so. After this threat went viral, people started warning women to stay inside on April 24th. Whether this day is fact or fiction, it still needs to be addressed for multiple reasons.

It seems as if the men that created this viral topic of discussion were not fully educated on the effects they could have. I say I don’t live in fear, but, as a woman, I am fearful of people who have the intentions like the men who created “National Rape Day.” When I don’t feel completely safe, you will see me walking with pepper spray in my hand even if it is to do a simple task like getting groceries. Unfortunately, this is a common thing for women to do.

Even though sexual assault is a heavy subject, some think that it is okay to joke about it. When people create jokes about any type of assault, it makes victims feel hesitant to speak out against their attacker. If you’re thinking of making a joke about assault or an assault victim, ask yourself these questions: Would you make that joke about your mother, sibling, or friend? Would you laugh if someone joked about assaulting you or your family?

During Sexual Assault Awareness Month (and every month), you should understand that you are not alone. If you or someone you know as been a victim of sexual assault, it may be difficult to know how to address it or who you can talk to. Please know that there are so many resources and hotlines that you can reach out to. The following resources were created to help victims and family and friends of victims:

  1. National Sexual Assault Hotline: Confidential 24/7 Support 

    The National Sexual Assault Hotline the nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization that is in partnership with over 1,000 local sexual assault service providers in the country. Their crisis support services include sexual assault and harassment, domestic and dating violence, and other victims of crime.

  2. Take Back the Night Foundation

    Take Back the Night Foundation is the earliest worldwide effort in helping women combat sexual violence. Their mission is “to create safe communities and respectful relationships through awareness events and initiatives.” 

  3. Crisis Text Line

    It may feel intimidating to talk face to face with a counselor. That’s why Crisis Text Line provides a free texting system to people who need it most. If you are seeking help in any way, you will be connected with an empathetic and trained volunteer who will offer support.

Madi is a marketing major from Danville, Pennsylvania who intends to pursue a career in social media marketing and photography. In her free time, Madi enjoys dancing, reading, and creating art.
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