April 1 kicks off Sexual Assault Awareness Month and groups across the country are joining the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) in pledging to create safe spaces online.  

This year, the NSRVC’s campaign for Sexual Assault Awareness Month is “We Can Build Safe Online Spaces.” The goal of this campaign is to highlight strategies for creating and maintaining online spaces that are free of sexual harassment and abuse. The focus of this month includes topics ranging from navigating affirmative consent online, combating cyber sexual abuse and creating safe spaces for digital intimacy. The NSVRC hopes its initiatives for SAAM 2021 will build knowledge and skills that can be carried forward as technology evolves and expands

At The University of New Mexico, the LoboRESPECT Advocacy Center, along with the LGBTQ Resource Center and Women’s Resource Center, are working together to bring the University community information on how to shift the culture and raise awareness of sexual assault and prevention education.

Online Prevention Education
The LoboRESPECT Advocacy Center will also be rolling out online prevention education for students at all levels. Completing this training is a great way to participate in sexual assault awareness month by supporting UNM’s prevention efforts. Invitations to the training will be sent to UNM emails on April 5.

Support the Day of Action
On April 6, the LoboRESPECT Advocacy Center is asking the UNM community to support sexual assault awareness month by wearing teal in support of the day of action. Take a picture of you in teal and tag @UNMLoboRESPECT for the chance to be highlighted on social media.

Additional events

(S)end Nudes: digital intimacy, cyber sexual abuse & navigating consent online
Tentative date: April 29 from 12 p.m. to 1:15 p.m.
Toward the end of the month, the Prevention Education working group will host a workshop called (S)end Nudes: digital intimacy, cyber sexual abuse & navigating consent online.  Participants will explore strategies for protecting privacy and asserting boundaries in the digital world.

Calling it what it is: Identifying and addressing Sexual Violence in Trans/Queer Communities
Thursday, April 28, 2021 12-1:30 p.m., zoom link forthcoming
This roundtable discussion will breakdown the myths of sexual violence in Trans/Queer communities by addressing the ways violence is invisibilized by cis and heteronormative attitudes, norms, and practices. We will facilitate conversations of breaking the stigma of machismo/toxic masculinity (we were unsure of what word to use here), addressing grooming practices of predators, and explicitly naming acts of same gendered violence that have been perceived as "the way things are." Participants will leave with tools on how to provide a warm handoff, how to find competent resources, tools for talking to trans/gnc survivors, and tips on how to prepare a survivor for uncomfortable questions. 

There will be additional events throughout the month – some of which are still in the planning phases and will be added to this story as they are confirmed. Follow the LoboRESPECT, Women’s Resource Center and LGBTQ Resource Center on Instagram for the most up-to-date information.