This April, we’ll ask you to Embrace Your Voice! We’ll ask you to dig even deeper than you already do, to think about the many ways that survivors speak out (or don’t), and how we can continue working to be supportive of these different journeys and approaches to healing and justice.
How You Can Use This Resource
Throughout this page, you’ll find various tools for brainstorming and planning how you’ll engage with the community you serve during this year’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month, even though that engagement might look a little different than previous years.
We hope these tools will allow you to spark conversations in your communities with the ultimate goal of serving and supporting survivors, engaging co-survivors and community members, and raising funds to support the sustainability of your programs. In this packet, you’ll find some examples of what we’ve created for you, and on our site you can access and download all the files.
These tools have the capability of connecting us in solidarity all across Ohio, linked by our commitment to ending sexual violence. Toward the end of the month, we also have the opportunity to be in community with one another virtually for our annual Advocacy Day, where #TheTimeIsNow to engage our legislators—and each other—in deep discussions about our state’s needs!
If you need assistance with any of this, please don't hesitate to reach out to our Resource & Communications Team at firstname.lastname@example.org!
- Important Events, Form to Submit Your Events, and Promotional Calendar for Ohio
- Model SAAM Resolution Language to Build a Request to Your Local Government
- Ohio-Specific Social Media Content Package Including Captions & Image Files
- Instructions on Creating Facebook Profile and Story Frames
- #SAAM Affirmation Coloring Cards
- Fundraiser Reminders
- SAAM Online Engagement Tips
- SAAM Kickoff Webinar, 4/1
- Join OAESV as we kick off Sexual Assault Awareness Month 2020! Awareness, education and prevention messages about sexual violence are as important now as ever before, despite changes that must be made to our traditional in-person SAAM events due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This webinar will offer ideas and inspiration for implementing online awareness-raising campaigns, providing virtual community connections, and encouraging audiences to prevent sexual violence wherever they are located.
- SAAM Day of Action, 4/7
- You know it—you’ll never see more teal than on April 7th! Break out all of your favorite teal items, share some photos and videos on social media (don’t forget #EmbraceYourVoice), and, when the time is right, engage in discussions about the realities of sexual violence in Ohio.
- OAESV Advocacy Day Prep Webinar!, 4/15
- We’re very excited to connect with you to talk all about Advocacy Day! Come find out all that you need to know in order to make sure we all get the support we need from the Ohio legislature—#TheTimeIsNow!
- Registration information coming soon! Please note that if you are registering to attend Advocacy Day, it’s very important for you to attend this webinar or to watch the recording. Let’s all get on the same page so we can be even more powerful "at" the Statehouse!
- Gear Up for Advocacy Day, 4/20—4/22
- In the days leading up to our time with legislators, join us online and share posts on your social media pages that represent your responses to these prompts. Be sure to tag us and use #EmbraceYourVoice!
- Monday, 4/20 and Tuesday, 4/21
- If your organization is participating in OAESV’s Advocacy Day on Wednesday, how will you use that to #EmbraceYourVoice?
- What does it mean to you to #EmbraceYourVoice?
- Wednesday, 4/22 (Advocacy Day!)
- Share a picture of your staff taking part in Advocacy Day! This can be at your desk or computer, a collage of individual photos, etc. Just because you’re not together in space doesn’t mean you aren’t together in spirit. You can also tweet throughout the day to keep your followers up-to-date on the most impactful parts of your experience. Include #EmbraceYourVoice, #TheTimeIsNow, and maybe an original hashtag created by your organization!
- Denim Day, 4/29
- Join the national moment! For over 21 years, supporters have engaged in wearing jeans as a form of protest against an all-too-common issue of victim blaming. According to DenimDayInfo.org, this came after “a rape conviction was overturned because the justices felt that since the victim was wearing tight jeans, she must have helped the person who raped her remove her jeans, thereby implying consent.” You can use this as an opportunity to have expanded discussions about the various ways survivors face victim blaming, and provide your communities with proper responses to disclosures of sexual assault. Again, use your creativity in incorporating your denim while social distancing.
Now, Mark Our Calendars, Please!
Are you holding online events throughout SAAM? Fill out this form, and we’ll add your event to our promo calendar that we’ll share throughout the month. This gives people all over Ohio a chance to find a space where they can provide support and participate in this powerful month of raising awareness and encouraging the prevention of sexual violence.
Connect with Your Local Legislators
Use our model resolution langauge to work with your municipal government on passing a resolution marking April 2020 as Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month in your area! Just edit the document to fit your local information; then, connect with your mayor or other city official to ask them to make this important declaration and show of support for survivors.
We love the amazing content provided by the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (seriously, check it out if you haven’t!). But we thought you might also want some Ohio-specific material to share online. Consider scheduling posts using the content we’ve created; this can help your followers understand what’s going on in Ohio and how we can join together as a state against sexual violence. You’ll see an example of the posts below, and all you have to do is click here to download the materials you need. We’ve got everything ready to go with some posts covering the following topics:
- General “April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month” graphic as well as a graphic giving some context around the meaning of SAAM
- Ohio-specific statistics
- Ohio legislation that’s relevant to survivors
- Impactful quotes that we hope will inspire our communities
- Definitions of common verbiage used in relation to sexual violence
Example of content available
Image (for Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook):
Suggested Caption: April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month! Watch our page to find out more about sexual violence in Ohio and how you can help us end it. #EmbraceYourVoice #TheTimeIsNow
Frame Your Message
SAAM is a great time to take advantage of the fun tools provided by the various social media platforms. You can utilize hashtags on all platforms, fun story tools on Instagram, and even create your own custom photo frames on Facebook! We’ll walk you through some tips for the photo frames on Facebook, and we encourage you to play around with the other tools and platforms too.
- Facebook allows you to create both profile frames and story frames! You can customize these using your logo and your favorite SAAM phrases. See our examples by clicking here: Profile Frame – Story Frame.
To create your own:
- First, open this link to enter the Frame Studio.
- Be sure you’re an administrator for your organization’s Facebook page, you’re signed in, and, once in the frame studio, you choose your page name from the dropdown menu. This is important because the “owner” will show up when supporters go to use your frame.
- From here, you have the option to create either kind of frame. Remember that profile photos often show up in the circular shape, so you’ll want your profile frame to fit that general shape. Story frames are rectangular and can use up more space on the screen.
- You can use a free program like Canva to create the graphic you’d like to use. When you download, checkmark the “transparent background” option so that the photos of your supporters show through when they use the frame.
- Then, you’ll upload the graphic you created to Facebook’s Frame Studio, get the placement just right by using the preview tools, give it a name and some keywords to help people find it, and PUBLISH!
It’s no accident that these designs involve plants—we’re excited to provide this reminder of the theme of our upcoming Annual Conference, “Restoring Our Roots: Accountability. Bravery. Community.” We hope you can:
- Share with survivors, co-survivors, and advocates as a self-care activity
- Make extended use of them by using your finished design as a bookmark
- Post them on social media to start a discussion (after all, that’s what SAAM’s all about!)
We’ve included one printed copy of each of the cards in your mailed packet, but feel free to download and print as many copies as you’d like to share with your communities. These are particularly important right now as many folks are looking for healthy coping mechanisms as they spend a lot of time at home. You can choose from printing 2 cards per page and printing 4 cards per page.
An Opportunity to Gain Donors
During SAAM, many people want to know how they can help. There are various ways they can take part in this movement to support survivors and end sexual violence, including volunteering, learning more about advocacy and prevention, sharing knowledge with their family and friends, and more. Another important way that people can help is by donating money or items for your programs. Don’t be shy! This is a real need, and all you need to do is tell your supporters about your program and the impact their dollars could have. Connect with their humanity by thinking about the reasons why you care, why you do the work, and why you know you have a worthy cause. Using the Facebook donate features are a really great way to do this! If you need any technical assistance on this, don’t hesitate to reach out to email@example.com.
We hope you have multiple opportunities to engage with survivors, other advocates, co-survivors, community members, and partners during SAAM. Social media can be extremely helpful and a powerful way to facilitate discussions and to share information. Consider these ideas for content:
- Write and post blogs (and invite volunteers to do the same!) that show your staff’s expertise
- Highlight the services offered by your program (and display the breadth of those services by sharing your data!)
- (Re)introduce your staff
- Suggest ways for community members in your service area to act against sexual violence
- Suggest effective, empathetic ways to respond when hearing someone disclose that they’re a survivor of sexual violence
- Explain what it means to you to #EmbraceYourVoice
- Remind your followers about your organization’s mission
- Use our hashtags to see how many people we can connect across Ohio – #EmbraceYourVoice and #TheTimeIsNow – and create your own that are specific to your program!
And most important of all, prepare. You are very likely to see an increase in calls, questions, and engagements overall during SAAM. And this is what we want, right?! But be sure you’re prepared for that influx and brush up on advocacy best practices as well as self-care for your direct service providers.
Need some help with these things? Don't hesitate to contact OAESV's Resource & Communications team for questions regarding any of the above items.
Just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
This publication was supported by Rape Crisis Funding awarded by the Ohio Governor’s office, administered by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office. The opinions, findings, conclusion, and recommendations expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Governor or the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.