How Small Businesses Can Support Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Illustration of Black woman standing next to a red head in a wheelchair. The red head is saying "April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month" in front of a pink background.

Photo Credit: NSVRC

This year marks the 23rd annual Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), a campaign currently run by the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC). SAAM is a time where survivors, advocates, and allies across the nation can come together to raise awareness about sexual violence and discuss methods of prevention and treatment to create the future we want to see. This year’s campaign’s theme is “Building Connected Communities”, and it focuses on the idea that prevention is not truly possible unless every part of the community is unified in the mission to combat sexual violence.

RALIANCE exists because our founders and leaders have the belief that corporate and business environments had a role to play in combatting sexual violence. Employers can leverage their position to counter the issue of sexual harassment, assault, and abuse by expanding access to supportive resources, emphasizing accountability, showcasing an intolerance for misconduct of all kinds, and advancing equity for all.

For small businesses, it may seem like a daunting task to confront such a large, multi-faceted issue. However, we have laid out a few recommendations for how small businesses can use SAAM as a starting point to transform their workspaces:

Have a Policy Review With RALIANCE

Consider reevaluating your policies and procedures. RALIANCE would be proud to work with you to find ways to modify your policies and procedures to make them more equitable to all your colleagues.

Get an Employee Assistance Program

Workplaces Respond notes that, if you already have an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), they may already have domestic and sexual violence related resources and trainings that your human resources department or senior leadership can use. Please visit Workplaces Respond and the Employee Assistance Society of North America to learn more.

Demonstrate Allyship Online

While behind the scenes work is important, it is also just as important to demonstrate to your colleagues and your audience publicly that you stand committed to the fight against sexual violence. NSVRC has laid out a variety of ways to show your support through social media including their ready-to-go graphics and their “30 Days of SAAM Instagram Challenge.”

Implement Bystander Training

As previously mentioned, trainings are an important part of workplace cultural transformation. One of our former grantees, Right to Be (formerly Hollaback), discussed with us the benefits of meeting with workplaces to conduct bystander training so that everyone can feel empowered to make the workplace safer.

Educate Yourself about the Issue

Our field has grown so much, which means that more and more materials have been produced to educate the public about the many facets of sexual violence. To learn more about how this issue impacts the workplace, please consider reviewing the following:

Drawing Connections 101: Promoting Racial Equity and Preventing Sexual Assault in the Workplace

Stalking and the Workplace: Fact Sheet

Addressing the Impacts of Violence Trauma in the Workplace: Promoting Worker Wellness and Resilience through Trauma-Informed Practice

Connect with Your Local Community Through Events

The best way to build a connected community is…to connect with your community! Consider hosting a raffle to benefit your local rape crisis center, collaborate with fellow community partners or schools to create an event that uplifts survivor stories and experiences, or even encourage your colleagues to wear denim on Denim Day. (One of our current grantees, Women’s and Children’s Alliance, has been collaborating with local businesses to commemorate Denim Day.) The possibilities for event creation for SAAM are endless, and we would love to see how you would take SAAM as an opportunity to unify your community!

Send a Message to Your Colleagues

Above all else, your colleagues need to know where you stand on this issue. When leadership takes initiative, it shapes the dynamic of the workplace. Reinforce to your colleagues that sexual misconduct will never be tolerated at your workplace and survivors should never fear retaliation if they would like to file a report.

SAAM may come around once a year, but the fight to combat sexual violence is year-round. This year, we hope to see businesses big and small take part in SAAM and be the change we hope to see.

RALIANCE is a trusted adviser for organizations committed to building cultures that are safe, equitable, and respectful. RALIANCE offers unparalleled expertise in serving survivors of sexual harassment, misconduct, and abuse which drives our mission to help organizations across sectors create inclusive environments for all. For more information, please visit


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