Sexual Assault Awareness: An Important Subject That Affects Everyone

Sexual Assault Awareness: An Important Subject That Affects Everyone

Sexual Assault Awareness: An Important Subject That Affects Everyone

Lee esto en EspañolApril is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). Yet, sexual assault isn’t confined to a single month of the year. It’s a serious public health problem that hurts millions of children and adults across the United States.

Sexual violence is defined as any type of unwanted sexual contact. It can include language and actions of a sexual nature directed toward another person against their will. It can range from sexist attitudes and actions to rape and even murder.

To foster awareness, the National Sexual Violence Resource Center leaving site icon (NSVRC) provides vital information about the nature of sexual violence and ways everyone can help prevent it.

Sexual assault is the most common crime in the United States, and the least reported. Studies reveal:

  • Nationwide, 81% of women and 43% of men report some form of sexual harassment or assault in their lifetime.
  • One in five women in the United States have been a victim of rape or attempted rape in their lifetime.
  • Nearly a quarter of all men in the United States (24.8%) have experienced some form of sexual violence in their lifetime.  
  • Both women and men are at their highest risk between the ages of 11 and 17.
  • On college campuses, one in five women and one in 16 men are sexually assaulted.
Sexual Assault and Health Care

Victims can suffer from short-term or long-term Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). They may need health care to address the trauma. While victim services are often offered by the community, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico (BCBSNM) can help with health care coverage options, including mental health visits. For benefits, call the customer service number on the back of your BCBSNM member ID card or use the Provider Finder® to locate a provider in your area.

All of us can play a role in creating a safe environment.

  • Step in to stop problematic and disrespectful conduct
  • Model healthy attitudes, behavior and relationships
  • Believe survivors and help them find resources
The Teal Ribbon

  Sexual AssaultThe teal ribbon is a symbol designed to boost awareness about Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Get involved. Become informed. Be prepared to help yourself and others. In a crisis situation, call the RAINN hotline at 800-656-4673 or find more information at leaving site icon



Sources: Sexual Assault Statistics, leaving site icon National Sexual Violence Resource Center, 2021; 32 Shocking Sexual Assault Statistics for 2023, leaving site icon Legal Jobs, 2023; Sexual Violence is Preventable, leaving site icon Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2022; Safety and Prevention, leaving site icon RAINN, 2023.

Originally published 4/19/2016: Revised 2017, 2021, 2023