UCSB Police Department

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) and an important time for each of us to revisit our individual commitment to preventing and addressing sexual violence on campus and in the Isla Vista community. It is also a vital time for survivors at UCSB to hear from us —that they are not alone, and that we support them.

Sexual assault is an issue that impacts us all at UC Santa Barbara. As members of this community, we can each play a critical role in preventing sexual violence and looking out for our fellow Gauchos.

Every day, we all share the role of being bystanders in our community—whether as roommates, peers, friends, co-workers or colleagues — and it is important that we value this role. Intervening as a bystander can often be as simple as checking in with someone to ensure that everything is okay. Remember that your choice to intervene as a bystander can make all the difference. Your actions are powerful.

There are many upcoming opportunities on campus to learn more about how to be an active bystander, prevent sexual violence, and create a culture free from sexual violence at UCSB.

In recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Campus Advocacy, Resources & Education (CARE) is collaborating with departments across campus and in the community to host a full calendar of events (http://wgse.sa.ucsb.edu/care/how-to-get-involved/saam-calendar) throughout the month of April in which students, staff and faculty are encouraged to participate. The wide range of programs seek to engage thoughtful discussion about sexual assault and include topics related to communicating consent, how to support survivors, healing and self-care, and addressing rape culture.  

As a campus, UCSB stands firmly against sexual assault and supports students, staff and faculty who have been impacted by sexual assault.  UCSB’s CARE office (http://wgse.sa.ucsb.edu/care/home) provides confidential advocacy to students, staff and faculty who have been impacted directly or indirectly by sexual assault, dating/domestic violence, and stalking.

I hope you will join me in recognizing Sexual Assault Awareness Month this April and creating increased dialogue on how we can support survivors, change the culture, and all play a role in preventing sexual violence.

The Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) defines sexual assault as "any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient. Falling under the definition of sexual assault are sexual activities as forced sexual intercourse, forcible sodomy, child molestation, incest, fondling, and attempted rape." Nationally, April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM).

The goal of SAAM is to raise public awareness about sexual violence and educate communities on how to prevent it. The National Sexual Violence Resource Center's (NSVRC) 2017 SAAM campaign provides community advocates and campus leaders with a toolkit to promote safety, respect, and equality to stop sexual assault before it happens.

The 2016 campaign offers free, downloadable prevention resources and campaign planning materials that include a campaign brochure; a sexual violence fact sheet; statistics on the impact of sexual violence; and ways individuals, communities, and the private sector can take action. Many of the SAAM resources are also available in Spanish.

You may find the resources provided for these previous SAAM campaigns useful:

2016 SAAM campaign - Prevention is Possible

·         2015 SAAM campaign - Preventing Sexual Violence on Campus

·         2012 SAAM campaign - Healthy Sexuality

·         2011 SAAM campaign - Engaging Bystanders          

We also want to highlight our wonderful campus resource, CARE: The Campus Advocacy, Resources & Education office at UCSB provides confidential advocacy and support to students, staff and faculty impacted by sexual assault, dating/domestic violence and stalking. CARE also works collaboratively with students, faculty and staff to educate the campus community about the vital role that each of us has in ending interpersonal violence at UCSB.

Please visit CARE's website for more information, resources or to schedule trainings: