April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, to raise awareness and focus on prevention of sexual assault. According to the CDC, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men experienced sexual violence involving physical contact during their lifetimes.[1] Sexual violence can lead to a number of chronic health issues for survivors, including gynecological, gastrointestinal, cardiovascular and sexual health problems.[2] Survivors of sexual violence are also likely to experience depression, anxiety, and use substances.[3]

Health providers have an important role to play in addressing and preventing sexual violence. See our training materials and clinical guidelines below for more information on how health providers and different health settings can help:

Also check out our safety cards that can be used by health providers to address and prevent sexual violence, and by domestic violence/sexual assault advocates to address the health consequences of sexual violence.

For any questions or for technical assistance, please reach out to the National Health Resource Center on Domestic Violence, by emailing: health@futureswithoutviolence.org.

[1] “Preventing Sexual Violence.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 17 Jan. 2020, www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/sexualviolence/fastfact.html.
[2] Basile KC and Smith SG. (2011). Sexual Violence Victimization of Women: Prevalence,
Characteristics, and the Role of Public Health and Prevention. American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine (5): 407-417.
[3] Yuan, Nicole P., et al. “The Psychological Consequences of Sexual Trauma.” VAWnet.org, Mar. 2006, vawnet.org/material/psychological-consequences-sexual-trauma.