This April will mark the beginning of Sexual Assault Awareness Month. In honor of this month, the Coalition Against Sexual Assault, CASA, will be hosting a poetry reading to raise awareness about sexual assault.
According to the Sexual Assault Awareness Month website, SAAM has its roots in England in the 1970s. As the story goes, women in England began holding some of the first protests against the violence they encountered by walking the streets at night, in what came to be known as Take Back the Night marches. Similar marches began popping up all over the world and in 1978 San Francisco and New York City held the first Take Back the Night Marches in the U.S.
As the sexual assault awareness movement grew into the 1980s, the National Coalition Against Sexual assault polled various sexual assault coalitions to choose a time for a Sexual Assault Awareness week. The first week of April was selected. However, in the 1990s some advocates began holding events for more than just a week in April until this became commonplace later on in the decade. In 2001, the U.S. observed its first Sexual Assault Awareness Month and the observation of this month has continued ever since.
Now, CASA is calling upon local and UA poets to use their voice by participating in their poetry reading. All poems must either raise awareness for sexual assault or fit this theme. Whether you’re a seasoned poet or an activist simply looking to speak out against sexual violence, embrace your voice and submit a poem by clicking here. Poems should be submitted no later than Friday, March 16 at 5:00 PM.
To learn more about CASA at The University of Akron visit their page on OrgSync.