SAAM 2019: Thank You Mr. President?
“In April 2017 President Trump made a declaration about April being Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). To be clear, I was staunchly opposed to him being in office with so many allegations of sexual assault against him. Yet, SAAM and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center were trending for the first time that I could recall in all of my years of involvement with the project.
I was offended by the blatant hypocrisy, and obvious insincerity. I was also kind of excited that SAAM was trending, simply for the sake of awareness. I’m not going to call it a silver lining, because that’s unfair to the victims. Not just victims who made allegations against the President, but any victim who hasn’t reached a place where they can comfortably be bombarded with discussions of sexual assault in the media.
I don’t know what I would do if my assailant got elected to a public office and I had to constantly see his face, surrounded in heated debates about a crime that is so personal. It’s definitely not a silver lining to the dark cloud of suffering. Yet, in the fight against those who would silence others who have overcome so much to regain their voice, this is a huge victory. I mean, I couldn’t go anywhere on social media with out seeing SAMM trending, even days later. Conversations were started. People who wouldn’t otherwise speak up were speaking up. Victims who were otherwise unaware of resources available to them, suddenly had access to that information.
I mean, to be frank, that’s the end goal of raising awareness. The goal of the Slut Walks and Pussy Hats. The initial goal is to be outrageous, to stir emotions and to get people talking. Even in his hypocrisy and insincerity President Trump managed to do more to stir emotions in 24hrs than the NSVRC has been able to accomplish with thousands of volunteers, and participants in their endeavors.
Former President Obama is the one who started the annual declaration of SAAM in 2009, but I never heard a word about it until 2015 on social media of all places. In 24hrs President Trump did more to benefit SAAM than Former President Obama managed to do in seven years. Maybe, just maybe, the hypocrisy is the salt that will irritate a wounded society in the United States enough that things finally start to heal?”
To read more of Rebecca’s thoughts on surviving and overcoming sexually based crimes you can find her latest release Turquoise Boot Straps: A Survivor’s Thoughts on Amazon or by following the sales link above. Kindle and Paperback versions available now.
Copyright R. MacCeile 2019
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