People of any age, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, or social status can experience sexual violence during their lifetime. Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) is a time to raise public awareness about sexual assault and educate communities and individuals on how to prevent sexual violence.
As professionals who support older survivors of abuse, SAAM is also a time to:
- educate yourself and others about the challenges faced by older survivors of sexual violence
- heighten community awareness of sexual violence in later life
- believe and support survivors of all ages; and
- promote resources and services for older survivors of abuse
Educate Yourself and Others
During SAAM, commit to learning more about sexual violence in later life. The following are some resources to consider:
- Preventing and Responding to Domestic & Sexual Violence in Later Life—this special collection brings together selected materials related to preventing and responding to elder abuse and abuse in later life. By focusing specifically on domestic and sexual violence (DV/SV) in later life, this special collection highlights the complexities of older people’s DV/SV experiences and emphasizes collaborative and multi-pronged approaches to addressing DV/SV in later life. Accordingly, the materials included in this special collection have been organized by their relevance to key stakeholders.
- Sexual Abuse in Later Life—This online training module, featuring Ann Turner, Advocacy Coordinator, NCALL, defines sexual abuse in later life and helps participants recognize unique issues for older victims. Video run time: 25:43.
- Sexual Abuse in Later Life—This video provides an overview of sexual abuse in later life and features Sue Hall Dreher, former Director of Sexual Assault Support Services of Midcoast Maine and Karla Vierthaler, Lifespan Project Manager, National Sexual Violence Resource Center. Video run time: 5:43.
- Sexual Violence in Later Life Information Packet—created by the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, this great resource includes a fact sheet, technical assistance bulletin, technical assistance guide, research brief and more.
- Training Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Staff and Volunteers on Abuse in Later Life—This video offers an overview of topics to include when educating domestic violence and sexual abuse staff and volunteers on abuse in later life. The clip features Anne Menard, CEO, National Resource Center on Domestic Violence, Ann Turner, Advocacy Coordinator, NCALL, and Bonnie Brandl, Director, NCALL. Video run time: 4:27.
- Training Other Professionals on Abuse in Later Life—This video offers an overview of professionals who could benefit from education on abuse in later life featuring Bonnie Brandl, Director, NCALL, and Karla Vierthaler, Lifespan Project Manager, National Sexual Violence Resource Center. Video run time: 4:04.
Heighten Community Awareness
We invite you to visit NCALL’s Graphics Library to find campaign tools like posters and social media graphics that focus on sexual abuse in later life. Also, be sure to check out the excellent campaign resources created by The National Sexual Violence Resource Center and End Violence Against Women International.
Believe and Support Survivors of All Ages
How you talk about sexual violence matters. Resist ageist assumptions that older adults are not victims of sexual crimes. Send the message that you believe and support survivors of all ages.
Promote Resources and Services
In addition to providing a free, confidential, 24/7 national sexual assault hotline (800-656-HOPE), RAINN, the Rape Abuse and Incest National Network, also offers toolkits, info cards, and handouts to connect people with RAINN’s services. Find these resources by visiting: https://rainn.org/materials.