Shouting From My Soap Box – It’s #SAAM

Shouting From My Soap Box!

It’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month! #SAAM

The month of April has been quite busy for me. Between family, classes and learning opportunities, and work, it has also been Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

For those that know me, I’ve been working with victims for many years so this month is quite important to me. Bringing awareness is one of the best things we can do to help prevent sexual assault at any age. One creative way we did this was by placing painted tires around the area. People driving and walking around town can see them.


The past year has been huge in the media in terms of sexual assault. Recent convictions of long time abusers brings renewed hope to those who fight this fight.

Denim Day

My first foray into Sexual Assault Awareness Month – back when I was a baby advocate and had no idea of the world around me – was Denim Day. And, I found out is still acknowledged on some level to this day.

Denim Day began in response to an Italian Supreme Court who overruled a rape conviction based on the fact that the victim was wearing tight jeans, which she would have had to help her rapist remove, thereby implying consent. For the past 19 years, since this decision, people have used wearing jeans to bring awareness to this injustice.

Each day I go to work and see stories like this – we are still fighting to this day. For my own little part in this fight, I work with survivors. But I’ve also begun to add my own voice to the cause.

Stomp Out March

This past weekend we had our local Stomp Out Sexual Assault march through the streets of our city. The turnout was great in-spite of the windy day, belying the warmth of the sun. We had about 50+ people, including a local law enforcement officer, a few state police officers and our local state representative.

For the most part, we received positive feed back with a few people cheering us on by joining us outside their businesses and honking as they drove by. However, as with anything else in this country currently, we did hear at least one voice of dissension. Which simply underlies the problem:

We need to believe that sexual assault happens and we need to believe survivors.

Apparently, this post has turned into my very own soap box, and for that I apologize, but this message and the injustices that occur bring out the passion in me. Actually, probably more like anger but passion drives me to speak out.

Just a couple of statistics and I will leave you with the amazing photos from this weekends walk.

– 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men will experience sexual assault in their lives.
– Sexual assault is the most underreported crime in the United States.

Yes, this is a problem but if we continue to fight and to speak out we can change them.

Friends #SAAM
Stomp Out March #SAAM
Stomp Out March #SAAM
Michelle Hoitenga, State Representative #SAAM

Next Steps

As I turn the corner into May, I’m seeing the sun more which means I am getting anxious to plant my garden. But that is another story, once which is full of drama, disappointments and sometimes, if I’m lucky, a few really wonderful tomatos.

Just a reminder I am still looking for some practice clients, so if you are a creative and interested in a few coaching sessions please click the link below.

Yes, I am interested in working with you!!

Until next time,