‘Share Your Voice’ shares information and awareness for SAAM
April 21, 2023
Gila River Indian Community’s Crime Victim Services and Gila River Health Care’s SANE Forensic Nursing Department held an information fair for Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), on Tuesday, April 4, at the District 6 Learning Center.
For the past 22 years, April has become Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The first Tuesday of the month is the ‘SAAM Day of Action,’ an opportunity to begin the month with highly visible and coordinated actions.
Gila River Police Department, SANE, Crime Victim Services, Tribal Social Services, On Eagles Wings Domestic Violence Shelter, and Gila River Health Care’s Behavioral Health Department were on-site, providing plenty of information on what they have to offer and how they can assist victims of sexual abuse and harassment.
Sexual assault affects not only the survivor but can also affect families, friends, and even neighbors.
Every day, hundreds of Americans are affected by sexual violence, according to RAIIN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization.
Most sexual assaults occur at or near the victim’s home. As many as 67 percent of Native American women experience sexual assault in their lifetime. And nearly half or more cases of rape were perpetrated by someone known to the victim.
GRIC has been working to combat these statistics through services and assistance from Community departments.
One such program is the Crime Victim Services. The program actively assists victims and survivors by providing advocates who offer vital information, emotional support, and help find additional resources. Advocates also go to court with victims and contact organizations to assist with obtaining necessary information pertaining to their case. They serve victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, families of homicide, and other violent crimes.
SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) provides a team of nurses specially trained to care for both the physical and emotional care following these traumatic events. The SANE team services sexual assault, strangulation, domestic violence, interpersonal violence, child abuse and neglect, elder abuse, and human trafficking. In addition, SANE provides confidential services, keeping their medical records from the hospital records.
All month long, GRHC recognizes SAAM with activities such as “Teal Tuesday,” which encourages GRIC members to wear teal on every Tuesday of the month. Sharing a selfie with GHRC will enter a person in a raffle. And April 26 is “denim day.” This day encourages people to wear jeans to show support for victims and survivors of sexual assault.