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Sexual Assault Awareness Month 2022

Cost and Admission

This event is free to attend.

2022 Theme: Cultivating a Community of Care

The purpose of Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) is to raise awareness of sexual violence and educate communities on how to prevent it. This year, we invite our Biola community to cultivate a community of care in support of survivors. This extends through the continuous practice of consent in everyday life as well as consent in online contexts and situations.

The internet has become a primary platform for connection. Technology continues to connect us with family, friends and people all over the world. Therefore, it continues to be on us Biola to stop, remedy and prevent sexual assault in both our virtual and in-person community. Last year, our theme was “Building Safe Online Spaces & Healthy Boundaries,” as we learned from the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) that forty-one percent (41%) of Americans have been personally subjected to harassing behavior online, and an even larger share (66%) have witneseed these behaviours directed at others. We called on our Biola community to practice digital consent, intervene when we see harmful content and behaviors, and promote online communities that value safety and respect.

The NSVRC informs us that we can stop sexual harassment and abuse before it happens by addressing the bigger picture in which it occurs. The driving forces behind sexual violence can be hard to see, but they’re often based on attitudes, norms and social systems that support the unequal treatment of certain groups over others. That’s why making changes to communities is so important when trying to prevent sexual assault and harassment. Preventing sexual violence means understanding our roles as individuals to interrupt problematic behaviours and address the root causes. Biola continues to cultivate a community of care centered on respect, inclusion and safety where harassment, assault and abuse are taken seriously. Together we can show survivors they are believed and supported. Let’s protect each other.


Contact Nallely Lopez at:

History of SAAM

The roots of Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) run deep, from the Civil Rights Movement, to the founding of the first rape crisis centers, to national legislation and beyond. When you look into the movement to end sexual violence it is clear that it is impossible to prevent an issue no one knows about, and it’s difficult to make people aware of a problem without providing a solution. Movements began to gain traction in the 1940s and 50s with the Civil Rights era. Open discussion of the realities of sexual assault and domestic violence were limited at these times. Efforts during this time were championed by Black women and women of color. Advocates like Rosa Parks worked at the intersections of race-based and gender-based violence.

Wide social activism around the issue of sexual assault continued into the 1970s, bringing with it support for survivors and heightened awareness. The first rape crisis center was founded in San Francisco in 1971, the same city where the first U.S. Take Back the Night event was held seven years later. The following decades mobilized survivors and advocates to call for legislation and funding that would support survivors, such as the Violence Against Women Act of 1933 (VAWA). Monumental changes like VAWA demonstrated that national efforts promoting sexual violence prevention were needed. Even before SAAM was first nationally observed in 2001, advocates had been holding events, marches and observances related to sexual violence duting the month of April, sometimes during a week-long “Sexual Assault Awareness Week.”

In an effort to further coordinate awareness and prevention efforts, in 2000, the newly launched National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) and the Resource Sharing Project polled sexual violence coalitions. They asked about their preferred color, symbol, and month for sexual assault awareness activities. The results showed that those in the movement preferred a teal ribbon as a symbol for sexual assault awareness, and SAAM as we know it was born.

Thanks to NSVRC for this information.


  • April 6 at 7:30-8:30 p.m. in BUSN 109: Signs of Healthy and Unhealthy Relationships
    • While we are all interested in cultivating healthy relationships, what are the signs when a relationship is becoming toxic or abusive? What should we do if we notice these signs in the relationship of a friend? What are practical ways to cultivate healthy connections that result in relationships that flourish? Join the following panelists in exploring these key questions:
      • Dr. Chris Grace, professor of psychology and co-director of Biola's Center for Marriage and Relationships (CMR)
      • Alisa Grace, co-director of CMR
      • Donna Mooz, director, Domestic Abuse Initiative for OC UnitedNoreen Muehlhoff, assistant director of chapel programs
      • Tim Muehlhoff, professor of communication
  • April 13 at 7:30-8:30pm. in Kim Dining Room (Cafe): Protecting Yourself in a Sometimes Violent World: Verbal and Physical Self-Defense
    • How can we learn to verbally de-escalate a situation before it becomes violent? And, if it does become physical, how can we defend ourselves? Join Biola Professor of Communication Tim Muehlhoff, who has a black belt in Kung Fu and is a Level 1 instructor with Defensive Tactics,to learn practical strategies and tools. Co-sponsored by Biola’s Center for Marriage and Relationships.
  • April 18, Chapel at 9:30 a.m. in Sutherland Auditorium: The Story of Tamar, Amnon and David with speaker Dr. Charlie Trimm

  • April 21 at 6 p.m. in Marshburn - Mayers Auditorium: Sin by Silence Film Screening and Panel Discussion
    • Hosted by the School of Fine Arts and Communication, the Department of Communication Studies in partnership with Student Development brings to campus Sin by Silence film director, Olivia Klaus, for a screening and meaningful conversation around what it means to survive abuse. 
    • Watch a promo video from the film's producer, Olivia Klaus on Instagram.
    • Warning. Disturbing Content: This documentary, panel discussion and event includes material, visualizations and discussions around topics such as sexual assault, domestic violence, stalking, physical violence, harassment, and more. Viewer discretion is strongly advised. Resources will be available during and after the event for those who may need them.
  • April 22 at 5-6 p.m. in the Office of Innovations: Thriving in Our Bodies: A Healing and Empowering Space for Sexual Assault Survivors
    • Torrey student and survivor Clarissa Aubin, in partnership with the Biola Counseling Center, will curate a space for survivors to just be - a confidential environment for survivors to focus on self-care, healing and empowerment. Survivors are welcome to come and visit the various stations from coloring, breathing exercises, guided prayer and journaling. Taking place in the Office of Innovation.
  • April 27: #DenimDay
    • Wear Jeans with a Purpose! Join millions of people on April 27, 2022 and wear jeans with a purpose, support survivors and educate yourself and others about all forms of sexual violence. Post a picture on social media using #SAAM2022.

Student Resources

Rideshare Safety Tips

When calling for a rideshare, remember these tips to stay safe:

  • Stick together: Nights out are always more fun -- and safer -- with friends. Whether you're staying close to or heading off campus, it’s important to look out for each other and make sure everyone in your group has a safe ride home.
  • Check-In: If you’re headed out on a date or to someone’s place, tell a friend or roommate, and have a system for checking in with them to let them know you’re safe. 85% of students who are sexually assaulted are victimized by someone they know - and more than half of the assaults take place during a date with the perpetrator.
  • Be extra careful at night: When you’re traveling in the evening, be aware of your surroundings, have your phone available, and try to request rides when you’re in familiar and well-lit areas.
  • Trust your gut: If you see something that seems out of the ordinary, trust your instincts, and don’t hesitate to call campus safety, (562) 777-4000. If it is safe for those in your group, report to local law enforcement -- and always call 911 in an emergency.
  • Check Your Ride: If you are choosing rideshare, please Check Your Ride before getting into your rideshare vehicle. It’s important to verify the license plate number, car make and model, and driver photo and name before getting into the car. If students are ordering a trip for someone else, please pass along vehicle and driver information so those riders can verify they are getting into the right vehicle.


Faculty and Staff Resources

  • Educate yourself on Biola’s Updated Sexual Misconduct Policy with the new Title IX regulations that took effect August 14, 2020 – Title IX Website
    • Read the Policy and find out if you are a responsible employee and learn how to report and your obligations under federal law.
  • Participate on Social Media
    • Post a picture wearing teal or your SAAM T-shirt during the month of April on your department or program Instagram account.
  • Back to the Syllabus
    • Remind your students of the “Confidentiality and Sexual Misconduct” section in their syllabus.
  • Checkout the SAAM schedule and see how you can get involved and encourage student engagement. Learn from the student resources and share with your students.
  • Report, Report, Report
    • If you know or heard of an incident involving sexual misconduct, report the incident to the university.