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Sexual Assault Awareness Month 2023

Cost and Admission

This event is free to attend.

2023 Theme: Care & Communicate: Understanding Consent in our Daily Lives

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 care and communicate in support of survivors. This extends through the continuous practice of consent in everyday life as well as consent in online contexts and situations. Understanding the importance of caring for ourselves, our bodies, our souls, and our own safety. Learning healthy boundaries and signs of unhealthy and healthy relationships. Living the importance of loving and respecting ourselves and others.

The internet has become and is still 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- communities. The National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) informs us that forty-one percent (41%) of Americans have been personally subjected to harassing behavior online, and an even larger share (66%) have witnessed these behaviors directed at others. We called on our Biola community to practice digital consent, intervene when we see harmful content and behaviors, and promote online and in-person 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 important when preventing sexual assault and harassment. Preventing sexual violence means understanding our roles as individuals to interrupt problematic behaviors and address the root causes. Learning how to communicate well with one another is a key component. 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 during 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 4 at 6:30-8 p.m. in BUSN 109: Care & Communicate: Understanding Consent in Our Daily Lives
    • Come and hear from the leaders on this year's theme. We invite all students to come to ask questions about SAAM, TIX Office, Sexual Misconduct Policy and Process, and the Supportive Measures available. Join the following panelists:

      • Sandy Hough, Title IX Coordinator
      • Paula Victor, General Counsel
      • Chief O, Campus Safety
      • Lisa Igram, Interim VP of Student Development & Dean of Student Wellness
      • DeAnn Decker, Assistant Dean of Student Care & Wellness Programs
      • John Keay, Biola Counseling Center (BCC)
  • April 11 at 10 a.m.-3 p.m. in front of the Spirit of Christ Sculpture: “I Believe”
  • April 11, 7 p.m.-8:30 p.m. in Andrew’s Banquet Room, Talbot East: When Conversations Become Violent
    • In today’s argument culture, conversations easily get out of control. Sadly, some even get violent. How can we de-escalate a disagreement before it becomes physical? And, if it does become physical, how can we protect ourselves? This seminar is led by:
      • Tim Muehlhoff, Professor of Communication (black belt in Kung Fu)
      • Nick Drossos, Canada’s leading self-defense expert

  • April 12 at 7:30 p.m. - 8:45 p.m. in Busn 206: Men Stepping Up to End Violence (Men Only)
    • The early church understood that true religion in the sight of God was to protect women in distress (Jm. 1:27). On average, nearly 20 women per minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States. As men, how can we recognize signs of abuse and intervene if necessary? This panel discussion will be led by:
      • Chris Grace, Psychology Professor & Director of Center for Marriage & Relationships
      • Tim Muehlhoff, Professor of Comm & Co-Director of Winsome Conviction Project
      • Nick Drossos, Canada’s leading self-defense expert
      • Allen Yeh, Professor of Intercultural Studies
      • Michael Matchell, Director of Strategic Initiatives and Recruitment
      • John Han & Julian Dayton, Biola Counseling Center
  • April 14 at 9:30 am - 10:20 am in Sutherland: Biola Hour with Nallely Lopez
    • The Director of Title IX Programs and Deputy Title IX Coordinator will be speaking about the importance of this year’s SAAM theme with Mike Ahn.
  • April 18 at 7:00 pm - 9 pm in Kim Dinning Room: RADS Women’s Self Defense
    • Campus Safety is hosting a RADS session for all female students, staff, and faculty. Come learn realistic, self-defense tactics and techniques, utilizing some coursework from the Rape Aggression Defense System (R.A.D.) It is a comprehensive session with awareness, prevention, risk reduction, avoidance, and basic hands-on defense training.
  • April 19 at 7:30 pm- 9 pm in Busn 206: Signs of Healthy and Unhealthy Relationships (Women only)
    • How can you tell if the relationship you and or someone you care about is healthy? What are the signs of a flourishing relationship and one that is unhealthy or abusive? This panel discussion will include:
      • Tim Muehlhoff, Professor of Communication
      • Noreen Muehlhoff, Assistant Director of Chapel Programs
      • Alisa Grace, Co-Director of Center for Marriage & Relationships
      • Dorothy Alston Calley, Chair of Communication Studies Department
      • Donna Moraz, Director of OC United’s Domestic Violence emphasis
      • Nadra Gabriel, Biola Counseling Center
      • Willa Williams, Consulting Therapist
  • April 26: #DenimDay
    • Wear Jeans with a Purpose! Join millions of people on April 26, 2023, 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 #SAAM2023.
  • April 26 at 12 pm- 2 pm in the Bells Walkway: Denim Day Resource Fair
    • Come take a group photo at 12 pm with your Denim and Teal and show your support. Stop by our tables for a self-care goodie bag, a SAAM T-Shirt if you don’t already have one, and receive information from Wellness, CMR: The Center of Marriage and Relationships, and the Title IX Office. A Denim Selfie Frame will also be available for pictures!

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

  • Women Faculty & Staff Join us on April 18 at 7:00 pm - 9 pm in Kim Dinning Room: RADS Women’s Self Defense hosted by Campus Safety.
  • Educate yourself on Biola’s Updated Sexual Misconduct Policy with the new Title IX regulations that took effect August 14, 2020 – Sexual Misconduct Policy
    • Read the policy and find out if you are a responsible employee and learn how to report and your obligations under federal law.
  • Report, Report, Report
    • If you know or heard of an incident involving sexual misconduct, report the incident to the university.
  • Be aware that you might be a private source, yet not a confidential one to students.
    • Confidential Sources for Students on campus:
      • The Biola Counseling Center (BCC)
      • Biola’s Campus Pastor in Spiritual Development
  • Check out the SAAM schedule and see how you can get involved and encourage student engagement. Learn from the student resources and share them with your students.
  • Start conversations on the importance of caring & communicating well with one another.
  • Back to the Syllabus
    • Remind your students of the “Confidentiality and Sexual Misconduct” section in their syllabus.
  • Participate in Social Media
    • Post a picture wearing teal or your SAAM T-shirt during the month of April on your department or program Instagram account.