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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, and staff to engage with this complex topic in meaningful ways.
SAAM is informed by four guiding principles. SAAM is:
SAAM 2021: Centering BIPOC Perspectives
In recognition of the ongoing marginalization of Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) in discourses on sexual violence, the theme of SAAM 2021 is Centering BIPOC Perpsectives. The current socio-political climate demands authentic and sustained engagement with the intersections between racism and sexism:
- BIPOC people experience interpersonal violence, including sexual violence, at higher rates than white people;
- Racial and gender stereotypes often play into the normalization of sexual violence against BIPOC individuals;
- Historically, sexual violence has been used, and continues to be used, as a method to oppress BIPOC communities (Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape, 2017).
SAAM 2021 is an opportunity to center the voices and perspectives of BIPOC people as we take individual and collective action to eliminate sexual violence and to create safer, equitable, and just communities.
We invite all members of the SFU and FIC campus community to engage in SAAM in ways that support their growth and wellbeing, while also seeking to centre BIPOC perspectives. The SVSPO has prepared a guide to culturally-sensitive campus and community support services for BIPOC people who have experienced sexual violence. We encourage people to access support in ways that feel right for them.
SAAM Advisory Committee Statement
On December 11, a distressing incident occurred involving a Black SFU alumnus, Campus Public Safety, and the RCMP in the Burnaby campus dining hall.
The SAAM Advisory Committee recognizes the harmful impacts of this incident as well as other instances of systemic racism on the SFU community, and particularly on people who are Black, Indigenous or People of Colour. This incident took place during a time when Black and Indigenous people are protesting the oppressive involvement of law enforcement in their communities. Such incidents have made conversations about the intersections between sexism and racism more difficult, but even more urgent.
SAAM Events & Activities
We were pleased to have partnered with UBC's Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Office on featured SAAM 2021 events. These events were open to members of the SFU, FIC, and UBC campus communities.
Other ways to participate in SAAM:
- Use the SAAM Zoom background during classes or meetings throughout January.
- Wear a SAAM button to help generate awareness about this initiative.
- Submit a Consent playlist recommendation or a piece of your artwork to Creative Collective.
- Read our blog post and learn how to 'call in' a family member, friend, or colleague.
- Request a workshop for your class, department or student group.
We would like to acknowledge the members of the 2021 SAAM Advisory Committee for their contributions to this initiative: the Active Bystander Network, APSA, Athletics & Recreation, CUPE 3338, Faculty Relations, Fraser International College, Human Resources, Residence Life, Simon Fraser Public Interest Research Group, the Simon Fraser Student Society Women's Centre, TSSU, and University Communications.