Sexual Assault Awareness Month focuses on empowering survivors

Department of Health

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) across Australia, an opportunity to highlight and recognise sexual assault and the impacts, on what is the 20th anniversary of the initiative.

The Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARC) in Alice Springs supports SAAM and will be hosting a number of awareness raising events throughout the month to educate the community on protection against sexual violence and further develop the skills of our support staff to better help the survivors of sexual violence.

“Empowering survivors and using education as a primary means of prevention are key messages during SAAM,” said Heather O’Dea, Manager SARC Alice Springs.

“We would like to honour the efforts of the current Australian of the Year Grace Tame and her strong message to sexual assault survivors to speak out on their own terms. Grace is an advocate for survivors of sexual assault and has been an integral participant in legal reforms and public awareness and we agree with her message that ‘every voice matters.

“Each and every one of us needs to be vigilant in looking out for signs of sexual assault whilst maintaining respect for the survivors’ right to speak when they are ready. Knowing where to go and who to contact might just be the most important information to have.

“As a strong and supportive community, Alice Springs, let’s ‘open the door to sharing, caring and healing,” Ms O’Dea said.

SARC and co-organisations across the region will be collaboratively interacting throughout the month with the community to bring individual power through knowledge, support and education.

A SAAM Information Rally to be held on the Alice Springs Town Council lawns on 16 April 2021. This will be a collective effort by supporting organisations to bring information about local help and support within the community.

“We encourage people from across the community of Alice Springs to pop on down to the Information Rally to put their name on the ‘open door’, a free-standing door symbolic of our commitment to share, care and help heal all survivors in our quest to break the sexual violence cycle,” Ms O’Dea said.

Sexual Assault Awareness Month runs from 1-30 April 2021.

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