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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Mizzou chapter.

Content Warning: The following story contains references to sexual violence and assault.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, otherwise known as SAAM. Survivors of sexual assault in the 1970s held rallies, organized walk-outs and demanded the creation of Rape Awareness Week. After another decade of fighting, SAAM was born to further recognize and honor victims. 

SAAM aims to raise awareness about the prevalence of sexual assault and to raise money for various non-profits that offer free preventative education. 

SAAM also is home to Denim Day. The Denim Day campaign began after a 1998 ruling by the Italian Supreme Court that perpetuated victim-blaming. The ruling overturned a rape conviction because the justices felt that since the victim was wearing tight-fitting jeans, she must have helped the person who raped her remove her jeans, thereby implying consent. The following day, women working for the Italian Parliament came to work wearing jeans in solidarity with the victim.

This year, Denim Day is Wednesday, April 27. 

Just so that you can grasp just how many women are assaulted every day, these statistics are from just last year:

  • Every 68 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted. And every 9 minutes, that victim is a child.
  • One out of every 6 American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime (14.8% completed, 2.8% attempted).
  • 48% were sleeping, or performing another activity at home when raped. 
  • Among undergraduate students, 26.4% of females and 6.8% of males experience rape or sexual assault through physical force, violence, or incapacitation.

On Mizzou’s campus, survivors or those currently struggling with domestic abuse can seek help at the RSVP Center. Their advocates will “provide brief emotional support, case management services, legal and medical advocacy, and preventative educational services.” The center is open from 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

All information has been taken from the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network. The National Sexual Assault Hotline can be reached at this number: 1-800-656-4673.

“I can tell you that you can feel whole again and there are resources—and I can help you get to those resources. Everyone needs to know that being OK is possible. That’s a radical thought. You can be whole again. This trauma and this pain may never leave you, but you can lean into joy, and not to lean into that trauma; it doesn’t have to take over your life. That’s what this movement is about.”

Civil rights activist Tarana Burke, founder of the Me Too movement

Emma Lingo is the senior editor at Her Campus’s University of Missouri chapter. She oversees the entertainment and culture verticals on the site, including television, movies, and book coverage. Beyond Her Campus, Emma works as a freelance writer. Her bylines have appeared in The List, The Missourian, Vox Magazine, Shifter Magazine and more. She will graduate with a major in journalism in Summer 2023 with an emphasis on reporting and writing. In her free time, Emma enjoys reading, journaling, and hanging out with her cat Tuna. She’s a certified Swiftie who has a major bone to pick with John Mayer and is always down to go from a drive and blast music.