Skip to Main Content

Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM)

Sexual Assault Awareness Month

The theme of Sexual Assault Awareness Month 2024 is “Building Connected Communities. According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, "this year's campaign helps us reduce the likelihood of sexual abuse, assault, and harassment in our communities. We must strive to create strong, connected communities that take care of one another. Communities that make decisions to ensure the safety and well-being of all members are critical to ending sexual violence worldwide.

Sexual violence is a detriment to communities, affecting over 50% of women and nearly one-third of men with incidents involving physical contact over their lifetimes. Additionally, 47% of all transgender individuals have been subjected to sexual assault at least once. The repercussions of this violence extend beyond the individual, with oppressive systems such as racism, sexism, classism, heterosexism, ageism, ableism, and more, exacerbating the frequency of sexual harassment, assault, and abuse. To combat sexual violence, it is crucial to confront all forms of power abuse within our relationships, communities, and broader society.

Preventing sexual abuse, assault, and harassment from occurring in the first place necessitates a collective effort to foster environments and behaviors that are healthy, safe, and respectful. Prevention efforts at the community level benefit all members, even those who are not directly aware of these initiatives. Therefore, everyone plays a critical role in preventing sexual violence, contributing to the creation of communities that are safer, more inclusive, and equitable.

What does it take to Build Connected Communities?

Tackling the underlying social and structural factors that influence health, including education, income, employment, community safety, and social networks, is key to enhancing the environments where we live, learn, work, and engage in leisure activities. In a cohesive community, we have the opportunity to support each other and make decisions that advance health, safety, and overall well-being. The initiative to Build Connected Communities moves us closer to achieving health equity. Health equity ensures that every individual, regardless of their circumstances, has the opportunity to attain optimal health, thereby offering everyone a fair and equitable chance to reach their utmost well-being (PI & NSVRC, 2021).

Sexual violence is an umbrella term that includes any type of unwanted sexual contact — including sexual assault, harassment, and abuse and represents a range of behaviors.

Forms of sexual violence include:

  • Rape or sexual assault
  • Sexual harassment
  • Sexual abuse
  • Unwanted sexual contact/touching
  • Sexual exploitation and trafficking
  • Exposing one’s genitals or naked body to others without consent
  • Nonconsensual image sharing
  • Words and actions of a sexual nature against a person’s will and without their consent

Statistics show:

  • More than 1 and 4 non-Hispanic Black women (29%) in the United States were raped in their lifetime (Basile et al., 2022).
  • More than 4 in 5 American Indian and Alaska Native women (84.3%) have experienced violence in their lifetime (Rosay, 2016).
  • 1 in 3 Hispanic women (34.8%) reported unwanted sexual contact in their lifetime (Basile et al., 2022).
  • 32.9% of adults with intellectual disabilities have experienced sexual violence (Tomsa et al., 2021).
  •  47% of all transgender people have been sexually assaulted at some point in their lives (James et al., 2016).

MiraCosta students are especially encouraged to seek free and confidential assistance through Student Health Services, which provides personal and mental health counseling sessions. Sessions are held one time per week for 50 minutes, up to six consecutive weeks, and there are also one-time drop-in crisis sessions available.

Events @ MiraCosta

Clothesline Project
  • San Elijo from April 8 – 11
  • CLC from April 14 – 18
  • Oceanside April 21 – 25
T-Shirt Booth April 8, 15, and 22

Documentary Screening - To Kill a Tiger

April 24 - OC 3601 (Theater)

Denim Day April 24


Books (Print and Online)

Domestic Abuse and Sexual Assault in Popular Culture
Campus Sexual Assault
Neo-Liberal Sexual Violence Politics
Encyclopedia of Rape and Violence
Sexual Assault: Prevalence, Health Effects and Coping Strategies
Know My Name
What is a Girl Worth Cover Image
Framing the Rape Victim: Gender and Agency Reconsidered
Violence in the Lives of Black Women: Battered, Black, and Blue
Campus Action Against Sexual Assault: Needs, Policies, Procedures, and Training Programs
Stolen Women in Medieval England : Rape, Abduction, and Adultery, 1100–1500
Sexual Violence in a Digital Age

Watch Films

Unlearning Sex
Film poster depicting a lone woman entering a building at night. A banner hanging nearby reads
Film poster depicting a line of high school football players running toward the viewer.
Film poster depicting the film's title Invisible War overlaid on a close-up of a woman's face. The woman is wearing military fatigues and hat.
Film poster depicting young woman
Lawyer Amani Kahatwa standing in a courtroom with military personnel in the background
Film poster depicting Anita Bryant raising her right hand
Bystander Moment cover
A woman wearing a large hat and face coverings to shield her face from the sun looks out into a green field
Documentary subject Ranjita Mandal walking near her home
3 Congolese interviewees standing together outside
Two United Nations Peacekeepers shown from behind

Learn More - English


Local Resources

Find Help and Support

Learn More - Spanish

National Resources