Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) is a month-long series of engagement opportunities hosted by the Sexual Violence Support & Prevention Office (SVSPO) in collaboration with SFU and FIC partners every January. The purpose of SAAM is to raise awareness about sexual violence and to empower SFU and FIC students, faculty, staff, and administrators to engage with this complex topic in meaningful ways.


Sexual violence is often misrepresented as an interpersonal issue. In reality, it is a complex systemic problem that must be addressed at multiple levels. Inspired by this article, which argues for the need to take concrete action against sexual violence, the theme of SAAM 2023 is From Awareness to Action.

Guided by the socio-ecological model, we are encouraging SFU and FIC students, faculty, staff, and administration to identify actions that can be taken at various levels– individual, relationship, community, societal, structural, and historical– to prevent sexual violence and support survivors. Awareness is an important first step for individuals and communities, but intentional action is urgently needed to create a future without sexual violence.

The following list offers some suggestions for actions that individuals or groups can take at various levels to disrupt the systems that enable sexual violence and disempower survivors.


Actions an individual can take to develop their understanding or skills

Interpersonal / Relationship

Actions that can be taken between people or within relationships
  • Have open conversations with people in your networks (eg. friends, family, professors, colleagues) about ways to practice consent
  • Check in with friends/family about a concerning relationship and offer information and resources about relationship violence
  • Call in close family members, friends, or colleagues on potentially harmful comments or actions

Community / Organizational

Actions that can be taken by or within organizations/departments/groups to address the culture of the group

  • Advocate for Bystander Intervention training for workers in the community, such as bartenders, servers, etc.
  • Collaborate with other SFU, FIC, or community-based units or groups to organize awareness-raising and action-oriented initiatives.


Actions that can be taken to shift societal norms
  • Call out jokes, comments, attitudes, and biases which validate rape culture
  • Practice active bystander intervention, whether it’s in the moment or after the incident(s)
  • Join a campus or community-based group or organization that is working toward gender equity


Actions that can be taken to change legislation, policy, or procedures

  • Advocate for more anti-violence legislation and procedures that are trauma-informed and survivor-centered
  • Transition away from punitive processes toward accountability processes with folks who have committed sexual violence and caused harm
  • Advocate for a curriculum framed by trauma-informed practices for higher education, with the support of the SVSPO and the Centre for Educational Excellence


Actions that address the historical context of sexual violence

SAAM Events Calendar

Check out the line-up of engaging events and activities offered by the SVSPO and various campus partners throughout January. 

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In Acknowledgement

We would like to recognize and thank the members of the SAAM 2023 Advisory Committee, who contributed their time, energy, and commitment to the SFU community: Alyssa Quan, Dr. Bee Brigidi (Centre for Educational Excellence), Jamie Hoholuk, Joeun Chong, Lacy Groeneveld, Maria Abarca, Nadia Mallay, Nicole Ly, Stephanie Hall, Sukhpreet Shergill, and Susanna Hall.