History of Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM)

Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) is an annual campaign that seeks to raise awareness of sexual assault and violence through education and intervention efforts. In 2001, The National Sexual Violence Resource Center officially recognized the month of April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Over the past 22 years, SAAM has included events such as:

Take Back the Night - a movement that has since grown exponentially since the 1970s when it began advocating for safety and resources for women walking at night. These marches have been champions of victims’ rights and educating communities on consent.

Denim Day - a campaign that started after an Italian Supreme Court overturned a rape conviction because a survivor’s jeans were deemed too tight, implying that the survivor consented and helped the perpetrator remove their jeans. In response to this victim-blaming message, people showed up to work the next day wearing jeans, standing in solidarity with the survivor.

Accomplishments during SAAM
The Delaware Alliance Against Sexual Violence worked with an incredible planning committee, comprised of volunteers and service providers throughout the state.  The committee planned several events not only during the month of April, but also the month of March. 

These events included: 
- A Proclamation Signing at Legislative Hall, where Governor Carney signed legislation officially recognizing April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
- 5 events in March for survivors and members of the community to design t-shirts for the Clothesline Project at: the University of Delaware, Dover Public Library, Baylor Women’s Correctional Institution, the Delaware Alliance Against Sexual Violence’s Office, and CAMP Rehoboth
- 3 displays in April that showcased the t-shirts designed by survivors for the Clothesline Project. The displays were located at: Legislative Hall from April 3rd - April 7th, Delaware State University MLK Student Center from April 11th - April 28th, and the University of Delaware Central Green as part of the Inaugural Spring Support Fair on April 26th.

What is the Clothesline Project?
The Clothesline Project is a visual display, recognized nationally, of t-shirts designed by survivors, their loved ones, members of the community, and those who have lost someone from sexual violence. Each t-shirt color represents a different victimization:
- Yellow: survivors of physical assault or domestic violence
- Light Blue: survivors of incest or childhood sexual abuse
- Purple: someone who was attacked because of their sexual orientation
- Pink: survivors of rape or childhood sexual abuse

Below are the t-shirts designed for the Clothesline Project.  The Delaware Alliance Against Sexual Violence stands with survivors and lifts up their voices.  To protect the privacy and truth of survivors, the only thing that was covered on the shirts were full names.   

These shirts may be graphic in nature and may be triggering.  If you need support, please connect with the below 24/7 hotline numbers in Delaware: YWCA Sexual Assault Response Center: 800-773-8570 or ContactLifeline: 800-262-9800

Pink shirt that reads me too
For more information on Sexual Assault Awareness Month or if interested in joining the planning group for SAAM 2025, please reach out to: