This April commemorates the 20th anniversary of Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) through several activities. Standing Together to End Sexual Assault (STESA) is launching the virtual campaign, Create to Prevent on social media platforms, including Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Create to Prevent invites youth to become agents of social change by expressing themselves creatively about sexual assault, specifically cyber sexual harassment.
Cyber sexual harassment is any unwanted sexual behaviors or attention through text, social media, email, dating apps, and video chat. This includes verbal or visual actions that are sexual in nature. Cyber sexual harassment most commonly affects younger populations, especially LGBTQ+ youth, who are four times more likely to experience cyber sexual harassment. Survivors of cyber sexual harassment endure similar trauma as survivors of in-person harassment. Depression, anxiety, isolation, and suicide are some of the most common expressions of this trauma.
To address these issues, STESA is sponsoring a contest to uplift youth voices on the topic of sexual assault in our community. Youth are encouraged to create multimedia content, such as art, poetry, skits, or infographics. STESA will choose winners in different media categories who will have the opportunity to have their submissions shared on social media. Contest prizes include a pair of Beats headphones, gift cards, and STESA swag.
STESA is hosting a self-defense workshop in Isla Vista on Denim Day, April 28th. Participants are encouraged to wear denim to make a statement against victim blaming. Registration for this event is open to all community members ages 13+, and interested parties should email firstname.lastname@example.org to register.
STESA’s Community Education Coordinator, Bianca Orozco, emphasizes, “Even in the midst of the pandemic, sexual assault continues to happen. We’re trying to equip people with the tools to recognize and combat sexual assault from home.”
Standing Together to End Sexual Assault (STESA) provides confidential counseling and support services to survivors of sexual assault and their loved ones. Through education and awareness, STESA is committed to change the cultural norms that enable sexual assault to exist. Our service area extends from Carpinteria to the Santa Ynez Valley.
Visit sbstesa.org for more information about STESA.