This April marks Sexual Assault Awareness month, a time when survivors and advocacy groups work to raise awareness surrounding the pervasive issue of sexual violence, as well as educate the public about ways to prevent it.
“We know that one month isn’t enough to solve the serious and widespread issue of sexual violence," Laura Palumbo of the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) said in a statement, adding that the annual event serves as "a reminder that we can change the culture through the things we say and do each day.”
“It can be as simple as calling out comments that blame victims for being assaulted or make light of sexual violence," Palumbo said.
President Donald Trump issued a statement last Friday proclaiming April as Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevent Month, saying "we remain steadfast in our efforts to stop crimes of sexual violence, provide care for victims, enforce the law, prosecute offenders, and raise awareness about the many forms of sexual assault."
"Sexual assault crimes remain tragically common in our society, and offenders too often evade accountability," the presidential proclamation added.
The NSVRC is calling on supporters to don the color teal on April 3, their "Day of Action," as a way to spread awareness and show solidarity with survivors.
This year's Sexual Assault Awareness Month comes following the watershed #MeToo movement that sent shock waves throughout nearly every industry, revealing the indiscriminate nature of sexual violence, as hundreds of people spoke out about their experiences. The movement triggered a nationwide conversation and helped diminish the stigma about coming forward as a survivor of sexual violence.
The NSVRC hopes to continue these difficult conversations this April by launching the "Embrace Your Voice" campaign, writing in a statement that the movement encourages people to speak up to "promote safety, respect and equality toward ending sexual violence."
The U.S. Department of Justice defines sexual assault as "any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient."
This includes "forced sexual intercourse, forcible sodomy, child molestation, incest, fondling, and attempted rape," according to the DOJ.
Sexual assault by the numbers
All figures below are reported by the NSVRC
One in three women will experience some form of contact sexual violence in their lifetime.
One in six men will experience some form of contact sexual violence in their lifetime.
63 percent of sexual assaults are not reported to police.
More than 90 percent of sexual assault victims on college campuses do not report the assault.
One in five women will be raped at some point in their lives.
One in 71 men will be raped at some point in their lives.
$122,461 is the lifetime cost of rape, per victim.
$127 billion is the amount of money rape costs the U.S., annually.
51.1 percent of female rape victims reported being raped by an intimate partner.
40.8 percent of female rape victims reported being raped by an acquaintance.
In eight out of 10 cases of rape, the victim knew the perpetrator.
8 percent of rapes occurred while the victim is at work.
If you or someone you know experienced sexual assault and is seeking resources, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673). If you are in immediate danger, call 911.