City Recognizing Sexual Assault Awareness Month with Events, Activities
A DCHS CONNECT FEATURE
April 9, 2021--Throughout April, the City of Alexandria is recognizing National Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) with a series of events and activities to support survivors and engage the community in prevention efforts.
The City’s Sexual Assault Center (SAC) is sponsoring displays, exhibits, workshops and events to raise awareness of sexual assault and support survivors around this year’s theme, “Together We Can Build Safe Communities.” Earlier this month, SAC hosted two events during which residents decorated denim squares for a community quilt, which will be displayed in support of survivors.
Additional upcoming events include:
Embrace Your Voice: Annual Poetry Share, in partnership with Doorways for Women and Families and Friends of Guest House, April 20, 6 p.m. (hosted online this year)
Virtual Dating App Safety and Education Presentation, debuts April 14 at alexandriava.gov/SexualViolence
Virtual Run/Walk, in partnership with the U.S. Navy, during the last week of April
The SAC also invites the community to support survivors of sexual assault by wearing jeans on Denim Day, April 28, and pick up coffee sleeves printed with this year’s slogan at local participating coffee shops. For more information and a full list of events and activities, visit alexandriava.gov/SexualViolence.
Sexual assault is a crime that occurs when a person forces, threatens or coerces another into sexual contact or attention without consent, including when unable to consent due to age, illness, disability, or the influence of alcohol or other drugs. Examples include fondling, forced sexual contact, indecent exposure, rape, partner rape, statutory rape, sodomy, voyeurism, obscene phone calls, child sexual abuse, incest, ritual abuse, sexual exploitation and sexual harassment.
Sexual assault happens in all communities and to people of any age and gender. Survivors may experience a range of emotional, psychological and physical reactions, and each person heals differently. Whether the sexual assault happened recently or years ago, it can impact daily functioning.
The City’s Sexual Assault Center offers resources and services for survivors of sexual assault and those supporting survivors, including a 24/7 hotline, individual counseling, support groups, family support, and information and referral services. Call the hotline to access these and additional services, or visit alexandriava.gov/SexualViolence. In case of an emergency, and for life-threatening situations, always call 911.
For more information, visit alexandriava.gov/SexualViolence or call the Alexandria Sexual Assault Hotline at 703.683.7273.
This article is an edited version a City news release.