Both Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) and National Child Abuse Prevention Month are observed in April, with organizations offering resources to educate and engage the public about these important topics. With so many young people facing these heartbreaking issues, how can you help those who are struggling access the support and services they need?
The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) and National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) both offer a wide variety of resources to support those who are dealing with sexual abuse and assault. With one in nine girls and one in 53 boys under the age of 18 experiencing sexual abuse or assault, this is a widespread issue—and the effects of this abuse can be long-lasting and impact mental health. Created and operated by RAINN, the National Sexual Assault Online Hotline offers 24/7 support, information, and advice for survivors of sexual violence via phone (800-656-4673) and online chat (also available in Spanish).
For the 2022 SAAM campaign, the NSVRC has the following call to action: “Building Safe Online Spaces Together.” The organization offers resources and tools to build inclusive, safe, and respectful online spaces and help end sexual harassment, assault, and abuse. Through their informative blog, NSVRC offers tips for being trauma-informed online, building safe spaces for teens, and ways to support survivors.
National Child Abuse Prevention Month focuses on the importance of preventing child abuse and neglect, helping to protect children and produce thriving families by providing the necessary services and supports. According to the 2020 Child Maltreatment Report, approximately two million children in the United States received prevention services in 2020. Around 1.2 million children received post-response services, and 21.8% of confirmed maltreatment victims were removed from their homes.
For the 2022 campaign, Prevent Child Abuse America® is focusing on “Growing a Better Tomorrow for All Children, Together.” The organization suggests ways to raise awareness, advocate for family-friendly policies, and show support for the cause. For those in need of assistance, the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline offers a 24/7 hotline via phone (1-800-422-4453), text (1-800-422-4453), or live chat. They also offer helpful resources for teens and parents.
Everyone deserves to live a safe, happy life, but students who have faced abuse or assault will need additional support and services. It’s vital that the adults in their lives make sure they have access to these resources so they can heal and thrive.
Looking for additional ways to support struggling students? Be sure to check out our student support page and share these resources with fellow educators, parents, and students.