Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Sexual Assault Awareness Month

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month.  During this month we engage in education and dialogue aimed at eradicating sexual violence.  It is also a time when we hold space for the survivors on Pitt’s campus.  This is a time when we honor our community members who have experienced trauma.  Students, faculty and staff are welcome to attend any events during SAAM, though some content maybe directed at specific members of our campus community.

Wall of Support

The Sexual Violence Prevention and Education Office is collecting messages to recreate a wall of support for survivors.  These messages will be displayed on Pitt Supports SurvivorsYou can submit messages here.  This year, participants have the ability to provide messages using text, video or images. 

Social Media Tool Kit

During SAAM Pitt community members are encouraged to spread awareness by utilizing our social media tool kit.  Community members can download a SAAM Zoom background that can be used during the month of April.  The My Voice Has Power bystander campaign is also available for download.  Individuals and departments are encouraged to post this campaign on their social media channels.

My Voice Has Power Campaign

Zoom Background 


Two female students holding up signs about what they believe signs of a healthy relationship are

Pop Up Tabling, Pick-Up a Vigil Kit

Friday, April 2nd | 12pm-2pm

WPU Plaza

Students are invited to stop by the WPU Quad to pick-up a kit that can be used during the Vigil in Support of Survivors of Sexual Trauma. Kits will include a teal ribbon, an led candle, sensory items and more.

Vigil in Support of Survivors of Sexual Trauma

Thursday, April 8th | 6pm-7pm

Register for the Vigil

Join the Pitt community as we honor survivors of sexual trauma on our campus.  This event will include messages of support from students, staff and faculty, a moment of silence and self-care strategies.

Supporting Survivors of Sexual Misconduct

Thursday, April 8th | 10am-12pm

Register for Supporting Survivors

Please join Pittsburgh Action Against Rape (PAAR) and the Sexual Violence Prevention and Education Office for a webinar designed to help faculty, staff and graduate students best support survivors of sexual misconduct on Pitt’s campus. The webinar will discuss the effects of trauma, how to respond to disclosures of sexual violence, how to provide ongoing support and Pitt specific resources.

The Intersection of COVID-19 and Sexual Violence

Tuesday, April 20th | 12pm-1pm

Register for the Intersection of Covid-19 and Sexual Violence

This webinar will focus on the effects of COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) on sexual assault survivors. Dr. López will begin with a brief overview of the novel coronavirus (SARS-COV-2), including the overall effects of stay-at-home orders and need to quarantine for the general population.  The webinar will mainly focus on the ways in which COVID-19  has affected the overall rates of of sexual violence, the referrals for sexual assault and domestic violence services, the available services from rape crisis centers, the need for services at Title IX Offices at universities and colleges, and mental health/counseling services.  Special attention will focus on sexual assault survivors of color. Available services and resources for sexual assault survivors will be discussed.  Dr. Jacobson López is a T32 Postdoctoral Scholar in the Department of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology in the Graduate School of Public Health at the University of Pittsburgh.  He received his PhD from Pitt Social Work and is a Licensed Social Worker, and Certified Sexual Assault Counselor.

Sexual Assault Facilitation and Education (SAFE) Peer Workshops

These workshops were designed for undergraduate and graduate students.

Bystander Intervention

Thursday, April 1st | 7pm-8pm

Register for Bystander Intervention

This interactive program offers participants the opportunity identify themselves as active bystanders when they observe others in distressing or potentially harmful situations.   Participants will begin to identify strategies and utilize communication skills necessary for intervention in situations they are concerned could be harmful to another person.   Information about consent and student resources are included in this one-hour program.

Survivor Support Workshop

Tuesday, April 6th | 7pm-8pm

Register for Survivor Support

This workshop provides students with skills to support friends who have experienced sexual violence.  Participants will also learn how to refer someone to support resources and how to use breathing exercises.  This workshop was developed with the goal of making Pitt a more inclusive space for survivors.

Healthy Relationships

Wednesday, April 14th | 7pm-8pm

Register for Healthy Relationships

This workshop will help participants be able to identify the characteristics of healthy and unhealthy relationships.   Information will be provided for supporting peers who have been affected by dating violence or abuse.

SETpoint Training with the “It’s On Us” Campaign

During SAAM, Pitt’s It’s On Us campaign is partnering with SETpoint to offer trainings open to the University community. SETpoint Empowerment Self Defense is a holistic model of self-defense that has been shown to provide powerful, preventative tools for reducing sexual and physical assault. Across a series of sessions, participants will learn and practice skills in situational awareness (session one), boundary-setting (session two), physical resistance techniques (session three), and bystander intervention (session four).  Sessions may be taken as a series or as stand-alone offerings. SETpoint training is trauma-informed, survivor-focused and inclusive.

Situational Awareness (session one)

Wednesday, April 7th | Noon - 1pm

Register for Situational Awareness

Paying attention to our surroundings – both physical and behavioral – can help us recognize early warning signs that may warrant a response. In this session, we’ll discuss techniques for maintaining awareness of our physical surroundings, and we’ll consider the behavioral signs of healthy and unhealthy relationships. Participants will learn to consider their own intuitive response mechanism as well as the biological responses that can be triggered by stressful situations.

Setting Boundaries (session two)

Friday, April 9th | Noon - 1pm

Register for Setting Boundaries

Setting boundaries is a key aspect of healthy relationships – in love, with friends and family, in social environments, and at school and work. It’s also one of the most difficult self-defense tools to master. In this session we will:

  • Consider ways to reflect on and define our own personal boundaries.
  • Learn to use our bodies to maintain personal space.
  • Practice using our voices to clearly define our consent, or lack of consent, in different scenario-based situations.
  • Consider ways that various power dynamics may impact our ability to set boundaries.

Basic Physical Resistance Skills (session three)

Wednesday, April 14 | Noon - 1pm

Register for Basic Physical Resistance Skills

In this Empowerment Self Defense session, we’ll discuss and practice some very simple and practical physical self-defense tools. Participants will learn the ways that their bodies are engineered to be strong. We’ll practice using our strengths in ways that will maximize effectiveness, building confidence in our ability to defend ourselves. We will discuss common objects that can be used as supplemental self-defense tools.

How to Be an Active Bystander (session four)

Friday, April 16th | Noon - 1pm

Register for Active Bystander

In this session, we’ll discuss and practice ways that the key components of Empowerment Self Defense can be used to safely intervene in and de-escalate challenging situations where we may be a bystander. We’ll consider how the Bystander Effect impacts intervention and discuss barriers to intervening. Participants will discuss and practice some key intervention techniques, including distracting, deflecting, and delegating.

It’s On Us Mini Workshops

Join us in for this brief workshop to explore how It's On Us to create a safe and respectful campus culture. This program introduces the impact of sexual misconduct, provides an introduction to the skills and resources for effective bystander strategies, how to support survivors, and campus and local resources.  Approximate run time is 30 minutes.  These workshops are facilitated by peer educators.

It's On Us: Mini-workshop on bystander education

Monday, April 12, 2021 | 4pm-4:30pm

Register for the April 12th Mini Workshop

It's On Us: Mini-workshop on bystander education

Friday, April 16, 2021 | 4:00pm-4:30pm

Register for the April 16th Mini Workshop

Supporting Gay Black and Latino Male Sexual Assault Survivors

Thursday, April 15th | 12pm-1pm

Register for Supporting Gay, Black and Latino Male Survivors

Description: This webinar will be focused on the specific needs of and the unique factors to be considered in supporting male sexual assault survivors belonging to marginalized communities – specifically gay Black and/or Latino men. This workshop is open to all students, faculty, and staff.  Dr. Daniel López will discuss his research on the sexual assault reporting process experienced among gay Latino and Black men and   recommendations for supporting gay male sexual assault survivors of color.  Participants will be provided with a brief overview of sexual assault against men, the LGBT community, and students of color.  Service provision for these men will also be discussed. Additionally, the workshop will provide information on cultural considerations towards working with Latino and Black male sexual assault survivors. Topics surrounding masculinities, heterosexism, homophobia, and racism will be discussed.  

Creating Inclusive Spaces for Survivors

Thursday, April 30th | 12pm-12:45pm

Register for Creating Inclusive Spaces

This workshop will provide faculty and staff members with tips for creating trauma informed spaces that can help survivors feel safe and comfortable on campus.  This particular workshop will focus on academic spaces.  This training is interactive.