Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Each year, April is dedicated to raising awareness about sexual assault and all forms of gender-based violence, including stalking and domestic violence. To increase awareness about this issue, prevent future crimes, and aid victims, SPU participates in National Sexual Assault Awareness Month as part of this national campaign.

Ways to engage

These topics can seem intimidating, but we encourage each person to engage with them in whatever format they feel most comfortable. Below we have listed some ideas, such as reading an article or book on sexual violence, participating in Denim Day, or taking our online Preventing Gender-Based Violence training through Canvas.

  • Elephant in the Room– From April 3 through April 30, 2024, pay a visit to our “elephant in the room” display in Martin Square to leave encouraging messages for survivors.
  • Email Bulletins — The Office of Safety and Security will be sending out informative bulletins about SAAM topics during April. Look for our emails and find out more reasons why sexual assault is a community matter.
  • April 6 “Day of Action” — Show your support for survivors of sexual harassment and abuse by wearing teal — the color of sexual violence prevention — on April 6 and post a selfie to Twitter or Instagram using #SAAM2024. Participate in the #30DaysofSAAM on Instagram Challenge.
  • Book Display – Stop by the library to grab some free stuff from this display, which serves as a display of book titles and available e-books related to gender-based violence issues. See the virtual display here:
  • Clothesline Project — During part of April in Martin Square, you’ll see T-shirts designed by SPU students that serve as a way to educate and unite the community against issues of sexual assault and gender-based violence.
  • Watch a Webinar — Learn about the Neurobiology of Sexual Assault and the effect trauma has on victim behavior, presented by Rebecca Campbell, PhD, professor of psychology at Michigan State University.
  • TED Talk: “What’s going on with men?” – Listen to the following TED talk by Jackson Katz, the co-founder of Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP), to learn about “one of the powerful roles that men can play in this work”:
  • RAINN Day on April 9 — RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) is the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (800-656-4673),or RAINN Day is an opportunity for college students to demonstrate to their peers that they are an ally in the fight against sexual violence. Join the conversation online with the hashtags #RAINNDay and #WontStayQuiet.
  • National Crime Victims’ Rights Week April 10–16 — The Office for Victims of Crime supports communities throughout the country in their annual observances of NCVRW. This year’s theme, “Support Victims. Build Trust. Engage Communities,” emphasizes the importance of leveraging community support to help victims of crime. Visit
  • Denim Day on April 24 — A nationally recognized day in which people are encouraged to wear jeans (denim) in order to protest the misconceptions that surround sexual assault. This annual day of awareness encourages participants to wear jeans or other denim clothing as symbols of believing survivors and not blaming them for sexual assault based on what they were wearing at the time. Read more about Denim Day at
  • Preventing Gender-Based Violence (in Canvas) — This online training will be made available to all faculty, staff, and students. This program covers important topics such as students’ rights and responsibilities; preventing sexual violence, dating violence, stalking, and harassment; sensitivity regarding victim/survivor experience; and promoting a healthy culture and mindset that prevents these crimes from occurring. Contact to register or log into Canvas to access the class.
  • Seek help — If you or someone you know has experienced sexual violence and needs support or access to resources, contact 800-656-HOPE (or 800-656-4673) to be connected with the National Sexual Assault Hotline. If you are not able to contact a resource yourself, reach out to a trusted person who can help you get safe or who can provide you with emotional support. And if you are in immediate danger, please call 911 or, if you are on campus, call the Office of Safety and Security at 206-281-2911. You can also request a safety planning consultation with trauma-informed OSS investigators by emailing
  • Report on-campus sex discrimination and other sexual misconduct — All members of the SPU community are encouraged to report instances of possible sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual assault, and other sexual misconduct as soon as possible. Reports alleging sex discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual assault, or other sexual misconduct on Seattle Pacific University’s campus, by an SPU student or employee, or in SPU’s programs or activities should be made to the University’s Title IX Coordinator, a sexual misconduct report receiver or anonymously by using the SPU Online Reporting Form. You can learn more about how SPU responds to reports of sexual misconduct at
  • Your Resources at OSS – At the Office of Safety and Security, we strive to educate our community about sexual violence, as well as aid victims/survivors in reporting and investigating incidents of sexual misconduct. If you or someone you know has experienced sexual violence, you can request a trauma-informed safety planning consultation, learn about our process, and hear about the resources available to you at SPU and beyond by calling OSS at 206-281-2911. If you feel you are in immediate danger, call 911, and OSS if you are on campus. If you would like to learn more about on campus resources and support, email or
  • Your Resources at the Student Counseling Center – Visit to request mental health support from trained professionals.
  • Free Treatment for Survivors – Find out if you qualify forfree resources at

Seattle Pacific University is committed to maintaining a safe environment free of gender-based violence. SPU prohibits all forms of gender-based violence, including dating violence, domestic violence, stalking, and sexual assault, and SPU wants to support healthy relationships for its students and employees. We are hopeful that this is the first of many conversations that will include all interested individuals and strengthen community safety.

If you would like to learn more about on campus resources and support, contact If you would like to speak with a confidential mental health counselor, call the Student Counseling Center at 206-281-2657 to make an appointment. 

The Neurobiology of Sexual Assault

The Neurobiology of Sexual Assault

In this webinar recording Dr. Rebecca Campbell discusses the neurobiology of sexual assault and the effect trauma has on victim behavior. Her work examines how rape crisis centers and the legal, medical, and mental health systems respond to the needs of adult, adolescent, and pediatric victims of sexual assault. A transcript of the webinar is also available.

Why many rape victims don’t fight or yell

By Jim Hopper, Ph.D., Washington Post Article, June 23, 2015

Dr. Hopper, part-time instructor in psychology at Cambridge Health Alliance, authored this article about why people don’t always respond to an attack the way others might expect.