Sexual Assault Awareness Month is an annual campaign to raise public awareness about sexual assault and educate communities and individuals on how to prevent sexual violence.

The mission of this month is to raise awareness about sexual violence around the world, and to educate communities on how to prevent it.

What is Sexual assault? Sexual assault is an umbrella term that covers all of the below:

  • Molestation

  • Rape

  • Unwanted sexual contact of any other form

  • Sexual harassment

  • Incest

  • Child Sexual Abuse

  • Sexual violence, even with an intimate partner

  • Sexual exploitation

  • Human trafficking

  • Voyeurism

Sexual assault is never the fault of the survivor. It is always a criminal act caused by the offender.

What to do when you are a victim of sexual assault?

Seek help! Do not be quiet about what happened to you. As scary as it may be, the sooner you ask for help, the sooner your road to recovery begins.

· Visit your closest police station and give a statement. Make sure that you receive a case number.

· Do not wash or shower until you have had a medical examination.

· Children must have their case taken by a member of the Child and Family Unit.

· You may open a case at any time, but best would be to do so after the incident.

· You may seek medical attention without making a police case

· The medical officer conducting your examination must be made fully aware of what happened to you during your doctor’s visit.

· It is your right to be given treatment for STIs

· It is your right to be given a month’s supply od PEP to prevent HIV infection. This medication can only be supplied within 72 hours after the assault. This is why it is so important to seek help as soon as possible. After 72 hours, the PEP will not prevent the HIV infection from spreading.

· If you are feeling unsafe in your own home, pack an escape bag and leave it at a trustworthy family, neighbour or friends house. This way, you can leave your partner committing the violent acts at any time and seek help at one of our GRIP shelters. Your bag should include: Basic toiletries, sanitary towels, ID’s and Birth certificates, extra airtime and your cell phone and it’s charger.

How can you show your support and raise awareness?

Use #SAAM, #SexualAssaultAwarenessMonth, or #SexualAssaultAwareness to post on social media.

Another way to participate this month is to wear the colour teal to honour survivors and keep the conversation going.

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