April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). A month to raise awareness of sexual assault and provide resources to survivors on reporting, care, and anything else one may need, as well as prevention resources. The National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) website is promoting safe online spaces this month. The NSVRC is providing information on what digital consent is, how to intervene when seeing harmful content online and keeping online spaces safe and respectful.
According to statistics found on the CDC website one in five women and one in 38 men have experienced completed or attempted rape during their lifetime. One in three of female victims and one in four of male victims were assaulted between the ages of 11-17. Before the age of 10, one in eight female victims and one in four male victims are reported.
It is unsure if the TikTok trolls who have gone viral were aware of April being SAAM or not, however some unknown trolls on the popular app have announced April 24 to be “National Rape Day.” They have claimed it is legal to sexually assault people on that day and apparently provided tips on how to do so as well. Despite the absurdity of these posts and the amount of people who have voiced their opposition to this there are some people in this world who may take advantage of this. Whether it was created as a joke, a disturbing and unacceptable joke, or if it was created with the intention to follow through, it is important to spread awareness so everyone can protect themselves against anyone who may attempt such a vile act on that day.
Jokes are meant to be funny, sexual assault is never funny and is not acceptable to joke about at all. While many find it a sick joke, there are also many disturbing individuals who want to hurt others and will use this day to their advantage. These individuals I hope will face many repercussions for their actions if they choose to attempt to participate. This is a disgusting and disturbing “trend” that has flooded all social media platforms. It has gone from viral on TikTok to Twitter, Facebook, and the news.
The fact that anyone would be for this is disgusting and only brings awareness of who to avoid in life. Many men have posted videos of themselves discussing important ways to remain safe on April 24, whether by staying inside or teaching self defense techniques. Some are even threatening the lives of those who may be interested in participating in the day. Everyone needs to be aware to protect themselves, their loved ones, and children.
While this may just be a “joke” it is a real fear for women every day and hearing men discuss it so bluntly and as a joke is terrifying. Especially considering the many comments and posts from men who think women are “overreacting” for being scared and posting their concerns for their own and others’ safety. Rape will never be a joke, it will never be funny, and is always unacceptable to joke about. It is truly disturbing and disgusting that someone would create a whole day to promote such a vile act. Rape is about power and control over someone else. Be safe, use caution, pay attention to and share posts about SAAM and resources and make sure to know self-defense techniques.