Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Sexual Assault Awareness Month didn’t become nationally recognized until 2001, but according to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center(NSVRC) its history stretches back to the 1970s. This is when women in England took to the streets to protest violence against women in the first Take Back the Night marches.



Mankato, MN


In Mankato, the community comes together annually for Take Back the Night where local law enforcement, the Committee Against Domestic Abuse(CADA) and the Violence Awareness and Response Program(VARP) coordinators speak about facts and resources on sexual assault awareness. Space is provided for students and community members to share their stories and offer solidarity to survivors. Local businesses, like Pub 500 and the Coffee Hag, offer support in making the community a safer place for women.


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This year, Take Back the Night will be taking place on April 21 in the Civic Center Plaza, downtown. VARP will be demonstrating its rendition of the #ICantKeepQuiet choir.  




Sexual assault affects men, women and children, but according to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), “1 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).”


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Often times sexual assault is associated with strangers and dark allies, but most of the time this isn’t the case. The (NSVRC) says, “In eight out of 10 cases of rape, the victim knew the person who sexually assaulted them.”


Sexual assault is not just an issue that affects adults. The Department of Health and Human Services reported, “A 2011 survey of high school students found that 11.8% of girls and 4.5% of boys from grades 9-12 reported that they were forced to have sexual intercourse at some time in their lives.”


A common myth about sexual violence is that the victim often lies about the alleged assault. The Connecticut Alliance to End Sexual Violence reported, “Only about 2% of all sexual assault accusations reported to police turn out to be false. This is the same rate of false reporting as other types of violent crime.”


Sexual assault is a serious problem and it is important to be well educated on the topic and supportive of survivors. Click here for some examples from RAINN on how to respond to someone who has opened up about being assaulted.