Sexual violence is a major public health, human rights and social justice issue that impacts every person in Fairfax County. The purpose of Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) is to raise public awareness about sexual violence, educate our community on how to prevent it and share resources available to those impacted by sexual assault.
Everyone is affected by sexual assault. This is borne out by the statistics: Nearly 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men will be the victim of sexual violence at some point in their lifetime.
In many cases, sexual violence is a result of a culture that does not properly educate people on how to prevent crimes like this from happening. This makes it especially crucial to begin talking about consent and healthy relationships when our children are young, and to continue having these discussions throughout the course of our lives. These conversations are necessary if we are to create a culture where we can talk about consent, boundaries and healthy sexuality.
The duty of ending sexual violence is a community one, which is why it is important to raise awareness and give community members the necessary tools to have these conversations with their families and with each other.