The University of New Mexico is joining institutions and organizations across the country in recognizing April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
This is the nineteenth year the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) has organized Sexual Assault Awareness Month. It’s aimed at encouraging individuals and organizations to raise awareness about sexual harassment, assault and abuse. A big part of the campaign is is educating people on how to prevent those behaviors in their communities – this year the focus is on consent.
“Consent is defined as affirmative, informed, conscious and mutual.” – UNM Policy 2740: Sexual Misconduct
“I Ask” is the theme of this year’s campaign, in an effort to raise awareness that consent is a natural and necessary part of sex. The NSVRC published a downloadable Consent Guide with valuable information. There is also an infographic, video and quiz available for free online.
“The COVID-19 pandemic continues to change our everyday lives, but it’s also a segue to encouraging boundaries between people and advocating consent,” said Lisa Lindquist, director of the LoboRESPECT Advocacy Center. “We have confidential resources available to the campus community and there are local resources available as well for support or guidance.”
As part of the national day of action, the UNM LoboRESPECT Advocacy Center is asking the campus community to wear teal (the color of sexual assault and prevention) on Tuesday, April 7 and post pictures tagging @loborespect and #SAAM2020.
Lindquist says like all things worth doing, consent is a skill that takes practice. That skill can be honed by asking clear questions, observing and honoring body language and respecting others’ boundaries. In addition to the day of action, LoboRESPECT is pushing out a social media campaign on its Instagram and Facebook, with definitions, information and other calls to action.