Learn more about SHARPP's annual awareness campaigns and ways to get involved in our events, educational opportunities, and more!
October is Relationship Abuse Awareness Month (RAAM/DVAM)
October is honored nationally as Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM). At UNH, we refer to the month as Relationship Abuse Awareness Month, as we recognize that terminology like domestic violence doesn't always resonate with college students or align with the ways in which interpersonal violence may surface within their relationships. SHARPP recognizes that relationship abuse can include physical, emotional, verbal, and/or sexual violence and can occur within a wide array of relationships (whether that be romantic, professional, familial, etc.).
Roots of the Movement
Nationally, DVAM evolved from the "Day of Unity", first celebrated in October 1981. This was put on by the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and was established to connect advocates working with survivors across the nation. Later, this day transformed into a week-long initiative focused on creating change at the local, state, and national levels. By October 1987, the awareness initiative had spread throughout the month and by 1989 the U.S. began to formally observe October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Each year, the "Day of Unity" is still honored and celebrated on the first Monday in October.
Relationship Abuse Awareness Month at UNH
Each year SHARPP recognizes the month of October with various violence prevention programs, awareness events, and activities focused on healthy relationships, bystander intervention, and more! We encourage students, staff, and faculty to wear a purple ribbon as a unifying symbol of courage, survival, honor, and dedication to ending relationship abuse. Every October, student leaders on campus come together (with the support of SHARPP) to host a Take Back The Night, bringing UNH community members together in support of and solidarity with survivors.
Additional DVAM/RAAM Resources
New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic & Sexual Violence
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Domestic Violence Awareness Project
Resource 1: DVAP Awareness + Action Campaign for Student Orgs & Groups
Resource 2: DVAP Awareness + Action Campaign for Student Orgs & Groups
January is National Stalking Awareness Month (NSAM)
Every January, SHARPP strives to educate our community on the signs and impacts of stalking. Due to NSAM coinciding with UNH's J-Term break, most of this awareness month's information and education is shared through our social media platforms (@UNHSHARPP). We share articles, educational content, additional resources, and engage in myth-busting to help our community learn more about the layers and realities of stalking. If you're interested in learning more or participating in our awareness month, check out our upcoming events & social media pages to stay updated.
Roots of the Movement
NSAM was officially established in January 2004 as a result of strong advocacy and awareness-raising by Debbie Riddle in collaboration with the National Center for Victims of Crime. Debbie's sister, Peggy Klinke, died as a result of stalking in 2003; through Debbie's education and speaking efforts via Stalking Must Stop, this awareness month was established. The goals of NSAM are to increase the public's understanding of the crime of stalking and to share accurate education around stalking behaviors.
- An estimated 6-7.5 million people are stalked in a one year period in the United States
- People ages 18-24 experience the highest rates of stalking victimization
- A stalker can be someone you know well or not at all. However, the majority of stalking victims are stalked by someone they know- often times, by a current or former intimate partner
- More than 1 in 4 stalking victims reported some form of technology was used
- 1 in 8 employed stalking victims lose time from work as a result of their victimization and more than half lose 5 days of work or more
- 1 in 7 stalking victims have to move as a result of their victimization
- Almost 1/3 of stalkers have stalked before
More Statistics & Information on Stalking
- Repeatedly call and text you, including hang-ups
- Follow you and show up where you are
- Send unwanted gifts, letters, cards, or e-mails
- Damage your home, car, or other property
- Monitor your phone calls, computer use, or social media account(s)
- Hack into your social media accounts or email
- Use technology, such as hidden cameras or global positioning systems (GPS), to track where you go
- Drive by or hang out at your apartment/residence hall, outside your classroom, or at your workplace
- Threaten to hurt you, your family, friends, or pets
- Find out about you by using public records or online search services, hiring private investigators, going through your garbage, or contacting your friends, classmates, family, neighbors, or co-workers
- Other actions that control or frighten you
Stalking in the Media
Learn more about how stalking is portrayed in movies and TV shows with this video by Pop Culture Detective.
Interested in reading more about the impact of the media's depiction of stalking on our own interpretations/feelings around this form of violence? Check out the below articles!
- I Did It Because I Never Stopped Loving You: The Effects of Media Portrayals of Persistent Pursuit on Beliefs About Stalking
- Glorification of Stalking Behaviors in Romantic Comedies Affects Our Perception of Them
- 5 Movies that Normalize Stalking IRL
- Our Favorite Television Characters Are Still Stalkers
Additional NSAM Resources
New Hampshire Coalition Against Domestic & Sexual Violence (NHCADSV)
Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network (RAINN)
Stalking Prevention, Awareness, & Resource Center (SPARC)
Stalking Resource Center (SRC)
Stalking Must Stop
1 The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS): 2015 Data Brief. Atlanta, GA: National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
2 Stalking Prevention, Awareness, & Resource Center (2021).
3 Catalano, S., Smith, E., Snyder, H. & Rand, M. (2009). Bureau of Justice Statistics selected findings: Female victims of violence. Retrieved from bjs. gov/content/pub/pdf/fvv.pdf
4 Katrina Baum et al., “Stalking Victimization in the United States,” (Washington, DC: Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2009).
5 Kris Mohandie et al.,“The RECON Typology of Stalking: Reliability and Validity Based upon a Large Sample of North American Stalkers,” Journal of Forensic Sciences, 51, no. 1 (2006).
6 Eric Blauuw et al., “The Toll of Stalking,” Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 17, no. 1 (2002):50-63.
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM)
SHARPP honors national SAAM every April alongside other organizations across the country. Together, we work towards bringing awareness to and inspiring prevention of sexual assault, harassment, and violence in our respective communities. Every April, SHARPP hosts numerous awareness events and prevention programs for UNH students, faculty, and staff members. Our goal for this month is more than just bringing awareness to the prevalence of sexual violence. We move through and beyond that awareness-raising objective to center preventing violence from happening in the first place by inspiring collective activism towards community change.
Preventing violence from happening is a community-wide effort and responsibility. The movement to end sexual violence began with (and continues to be driven today by) community advocacy, student activism, and grassroots community organizing. We invite you to be part of the solution by learning more about sexual violence, sharing what you learned with others, and engaging in direct action opportunities to further cultivate social change. Below you'll find more information about the roots of this movement and helpful strategies on ways to get involved.
Roots of the Movement
Although SAAM has only officially been recognized nationally since 2001, it is important to note that anti-violence initiatives and advocacy have been present at UNH since the 1970s. SHARPP itself (formerly known as the Rape Task Force) began in 1978 and came to be as a result of community & student activism. Zooming out to look at the national history of anti-violence work, we can turn to the 1940s and 1950s during which movements for equality and social change began to gain traction with the Civil Rights Movement (NSVRC, 2021). Advocates that championed these efforts (including Audre Lorde, Rosa Parks, Coretta Scott King, & Maya Angelou) worked at the intersections of race-based and gender-based violence in their activism efforts. By the 1970s, there was a demand for wide-spread social change around issues of sexual violence. In 1971, the first rape crisis center was founded in San Francisco and a few years later this would be the same site of the first Take Back The Night event (NSVRC, 2021).
Throughout the following decades there developed a steady growth of Take Back The Night events, marches, and protests that expanded the conversation around sexual violence. Marches spanned from demands for more resources and safety for women attending college, to protests against violent pornography films and displays of outrage after the murder of women at night (Take Back The Night, 2021). From the 1970s to today, anti-violence activists have been holding events, marches, vigils, observances, and protests focused on ending sexual violence. This community organizing is honored, celebrated, and continued to this day with our national Sexual Assault Awareness Month. At SHARPP, we like to think of this month as a continuation and amplification of the anti-violence work we engage in year-round. We invite you to use this month to get involved in bringing attention to and preventing sexual violence - and then take what you learned with you long past the end of April.
Get Involved & Create Community Change
Ending sexual violence is a community-wide effort and responsibility. When we begin to embrace this concept, it becomes easier to enact social change. Transforming our UNH community to be a space free from violence, harassment, abuse, discrimination, and oppression starts and ends with us. Below are some suggestions and strategies for ways you can get involved in bringing attention to and preventing sexual violence (both within and outside of SAAM)!
Learn about the widespread prevalence of IPV, its impact on individuals and communities, what it consists of and how to recognize warning signs, the historic and current landscape of this issue, who is disproportionately affected by violence, what SV looks like here at UNH, and more.
You can do this by:
- Attending upcoming SHARPP events and programs
- Watching documentaries or tuning into a podcast series that focuses on IPV
- Reading books, articles, blogs, and content by survivors and those who have experienced violence. Check out our recommended readings here!
- Registering for a UNH course that dives into the topic of IPV, oppression, power, and abuse. Women & Gender Studies, Social Work, Sociology, and Justice Studies are great academic departments that would offer this
- Following SHARPP on social media | @UNHSHARPP on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Goodreads, and TikTok
- Signing up for our SHARPP Leaders Institute summit
- Staying up to date on local, state, and federal policies/laws that relate back to IPV, survivors, and violence prevention
- Learning about common myths and misconceptions related to sexual violence (and strategies on myth busting for those around us)
- Educating yourself on ways to support a friend and necessary skills for being an active bystander
Share what you've learned with your peers, and find ways to create additional learning opportunities in the spaces you occupy.
You can do this by:
- Beginning discussions with your friends, classmates, roommates, colleagues, and family members about how sexual violence affects our communities
- Scheduling a prevention education program for your res hall, athletic team, student organization, office, FSL chapter, department, classroom, etc
- Becoming a volunteer with SHARPP
- Sharing our social media content on your personal or student organization accounts
- Hosting and planning a collaborative event for your respective community (whether that be an awareness raising initiative or an educational event)
- Modeling and promoting active bystander intervention skills within your peer groups.
- Disseminating accurate facts and figures around sexual violence and speaking up when myths and misinformation surface
Commit to signing petitions or letter writing, call your local legislators, participate in community organizing initiatives, and more!
You can do this by:
- Writing letters to (or contacting) your local newspapers about the importance of raising awareness around sexual violence on college campuses
- Participating in SHARPP's Direct Action for Incarcerated Survivors campaign, and/or collaborating with organizations like Survived & Punished, Love + Protect, Black and Pink
- Partnering with social change organizations such as; Know Your IX, One Love, End Rape on Campus, Futures Without Violence, and so many more
- Signing or creating petitions to further allocate resources to IPV response and prevention
- Calling your respective senators and representatives to share your thoughts + opinions around sexual violence, college campuses, and the student experience
- Donating time, money, and resources to organizations that are survivor-centered and working to not only bring awareness to IPV but prevent it from happening in the first place. This might look like helping an organization launch a fundraising campaign or sharing an already existing fundraising opportunity on your social media profiles
- Advocating for additional violence prevention educational opportunities (whether for you academic department, student organization, chapter, team, or classroom)
- Holding people within your respective communities accountable for their words and actions
- Hosting and/or attending marches, observances, vigils, rallys, etc.
This is not an exhaustive list of suggestions & strategies, but rather should be viewed as potential starting points in your own personal involvement journey!
Additional SAAM Resources
SHARPP offers a few more rotating awareness campaigns throughout the academic year. These initiatives are a bit unique as they do not operate within just one awareness month and tend to occur on more of an ongoing, rolling, and as-requested basis. Often you can find these campaigns paired with upcoming SHARPP events, prevention initiatives, displays in residential halls, posts on social media, and programming put on by student orgs, student government, and Fraternity & Sorority Life.
The Clothesline Project is a national awareness initiative that was started by a group of women in the 1990s who wanted to give survivors a way to voice the abuse they were experiencing. SHARPP's clothesline project display dates back to the late '90s/early 2000s, with a large collection of shirts made by and for survivors. Today, the project serves as a way for survivors and their loved ones to share their stories, express their feelings, and raise awareness around interpersonal violence (IPV). Survivors and their allies are given the opportunity to design a t-shirt that can be added to SHARPP's display. Participants are encouraged to design their shirt in any way they choose: some share their stories, write poetry, or draw pictures or symbols attached to their story or healing journey, while others offer words of encouragement and hope to other survivors.
SHARPP provides all necessary materials for both the display set up and t-shirt making activity.
1BlueString is a national campaign that asks guitarists to replace one of their six strings with a blue string to show solidarity and support for the 1 in 6 men who have experienced interpersonal violence (IPV). If you're a campus-based performance group/band or hosting a community open mic night, book this campaign for your next event! We can set up a SHARPP information table while providing blue guitar strings to interested performers and attendees.
In 2020, SHARPP launched a direct action letter writing and policy advocacy series that is based out of a harm reduction model and informed by organizations like Survived & Punished, Black & Pink, and Love & Protect. The series brings increased awareness and community action to incarcerated survivors and the unique barriers they face. Survivors of interpersonal violence, especially BIPOC and transgender survivors, are often criminalized by our justice system for defending themselves against abuse and assault. Letter writing is a form of harm reduction for these survivors, and receiving a letter of support can serve as a lifeline for some who are incarcerated. Visit our highlighted cases page to find just a few of the many stories of survivors who have been punished for protecting themselves or others against abuse or assault. We have also listed ways that you can take action for each case where applicable: this can mean making a donation, making a phone call to a local mayor or justice department, or writing a letter to the survivor.