April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

PCAR (Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape) first partnered with NSVRC (National Sexual Violence Resource Center) in 2001 to coordinate the first nationally recognized Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) campaign in the United States. The campaign strives to raise community awareness about sexual violence and to educate on means of prevention as well as ways to support victim/survivors. The 2021 theme, "We Can Build Safe Online Spaces," Sexual harassment, assault, and abuse can happen anywhere, including in online spaces. As we connect online, we can learn how to practice digital consent, intervene when we see harmful content or behaviors, and ensure that online spaces — whether they be workspaces, classrooms, social media platforms, or otherwise — are respectful and safe.

Due to the continued pandemic, many of the SAAM events are virtual. Check back often. In the meantime - below are some ways to stay engaged.

7th Annual Clothing & Comfort Drive

YWCA Lancaster, 110 North Lime Street

Monday through Friday, April 1 – 30, 2021

We are accepting monetary donations and NEW clothing or comfort items to support victim survivors of sexual abuse receiving medical care at local hospitals.

Sexual assault is a crime. As a result, clothing and undergarments of victim survivors may be collected for evidence at the time of a SAFE exam. Many hospitals provide donated clothing to patients in order to replace the clothing collected for evidential purposes. With hundreds of victim/survivors seeking medical care, there is a huge need for donated garments.  Items needed include: undergarments, sweatshirts, T-shirts, yoga pants, sweatpants for persons of all genders and ages, as well as comfort items such as small stuffed animals, fidget toys, coloring books, and stress toys. Drop off M-F at YWCA Lancaster, 110 N. Lime Street. 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

The HAArt Project:

Amplifying Art to Combat Sexual Harassment, Abuse and Assault

The HAArt Project is a part of April’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month (#saam). The project aims to be a powerful and creative outlet for loved ones and survivors of sexual harassment, abuse and assault to share their experiences through expressive art. Research supports that expressive arts is a way for survivors to convey what is often unspeakable, to explore and transform emotions related to their traumatic experiences. The HAArt Project encourages survivors to restructure and reframe, explore and illustrate their trauma in this empowering way.

The HAArt Project is a virtual art exhibit and artist spotlight via YWCA Lancaster’s social media pages during Sexual Assault Awareness Month (#saam). Anyone impacted by sexual trauma is encouraged to submit expressive art related to their experience to spread awareness and build community during the month of April. Submissions may include: poetry, painting, drawing, digital art, photography, fiber art, performance art, animation, short stories and more.

We have a few openings left before the end of the HAArt Project for any artists who still wish to submit.

HAArt Project

Amplifying Art to combat Sexual Harassment Abuse, & Assault
    NOTICE: written art word limit: 250; animation and performance art time limit: 2 minutes.
  • Word limit 500. Optional prompts: How is this art piece connected to sexual Harassment, Abuse and Assault? What message is your art sharing? What does this art mean to you? What does this art represent?
  • Drop files here or
    Accepted file types: jpg, png, pdf, Max. file size: 128 MB.
      Please attach your art in a JPG, PNG or PDF format

    The HAArt Project

    #30DaysofSAAM Instagram Challenge

    Participate in the #30DaysofSAAM Instagram Challenge

    Join advocates, activists, and survivors for this opportunity to get involved with SAAM- virtually! Participants have a chance to win prizes for every day they participate, as well as a grand prize for those who post every day.

    Tag @ywcalancaster in your posts to be featured during Station One’s Jam for SAAM- a virtual concert fundraiser benefitting YWCA Lancaster’s Sexual Assault Prevention & Counseling Center.

    To learn more about participation guidelines, daily Instagram prompts, prize information, and other ways to get involved, visit their official website.

    Mask Fundraiser

    Show your support for survivors by joining Lancaster Young Professionals in a face mask fundraiser benefitting YWCA Lancaster’s Sexual assault Prevention and Counseling Center during the month of April. Masks can be purchased for $8, Venmo and cash payment options available.

    Personal Safety Storytime Series

    Join YWCA Lancaster Counselor and Educator, Danielle, as she reads books throughout April on personal safety for kids!

    Book Descriptions:

    April 12th at 11am-11:30am. Listening to My Body by Gabi Garcia. This book’s suggested ages are 8-12 years.

    This book will also be read in Spanish. Book translation will be provided by Sandra Valdez from SACA

    April 19th at 11am-11:30am. C is for Consent by Eleanor Morrison. This book’s suggested ages are 3-5 years old.

    April 26th at 11am-11:30am. My Body! What I Say Goes! By Jayneen Sanders. This book’s suggested ages are 3-9 years.

    All events are 11-11:30 a.m. LIVE on YWCA Lancaster’s Facebook Page

    Program details for children:

    Join us for a series of Facebook live Storytime readings throughout the month of April on books related to feelings, boundaries, consent, and body safety. These reading are approximately 1/2 hour in length and are appropriate for the age groups listed. Families that register will receive materials and resources related to body safety, and their own copies of books while supplies last. Readings will occur live on our Facebook Page.

    Special thanks to C.A.S.E  for supplying the books.

    Pick up your books and materials starting on April 26th at:
    Lancaster Public Library
    125 N Duke St, Lancaster, PA 17602
    Business hours:
    M-TH 10am – 6pm
    FRI 10am – 4pm
    SAT 9am – 2pm

    Program details for adults:


    April 12th at 11am-11:30am: Listening to My Body by Gabi Garcia. This book’s suggested ages are 8-12 years. This book will also be read in Spanish. Book translation will be provided by Sandra Valdez from SACA
    April 19th at 11am-11:30am: C is for Consent by Eleanor Morrison. This book’s suggested ages are 3-5 years.
    April 26th at 11am-11:30am:. My Body! What I Say Goes! By Jayneen Sanders. This book’s suggested ages are 3-9 years.

    Additional Adult Child Resources:

    Check out Safesecurekids.org to learn more about teaching children about body safety and consent, as well as play interact activities with them!

    Learn how to keep kids safe online.

    Identify ways you, as an adult who cares for children, can model healthy behavior

    Reach out to YWCA Lancaster’s Sexual Assault Prevention Counseling Center at wehearyou@ywcalancaster.org or at 717.869.5009 with any questions or concerns you may have about your role in keeping children safe

    Personal Safety and Storytime registration

    Denim Day

    Participate in Denim Day

    Wear jeans with a purpose, support survivors, and educate yourself and others about sexual assault on Denim Day, April 28th. Share photos of your jeans on social media using #DenimDay. Learn more about the meaning behind Denim Day and register your participation here.

    Jam for SAAM with Station One Center for the Arts

    YWCA Lancaster is Partnering with Station One Center for the Arts to put on a virtual concert of local Lancaster artists on April 24 at 6 p.m.

    There will also be activities/games as well as musical performances.

    Proceeds support victim survivors of harassment, abuse, and assault receiving services at the Sexual Assault Prevention and Counseling Center at YWCA Lancaster.

    You can watch the concert here: https://www.stationonecfa.org/jamforsaam

    Rachel's Cafe and Creperie Fundraiser

    201 W. Walnut Street

    Friday, April 30, 7 a.m. – 3 p.m.

    Rachel’s Cafe & Creperie will donate a portion of its proceeds to  YWCA Lancaster’s Sexual Assault Prevention & Counseling Center.