Sunday, April 21, 2013

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month*Things You Should Know...

To increase awareness of sexual violence, April has been designated as Sexual Assault Awareness Month in the United States.

What is sexual assault?
Wikipedia defines it as: "Any involuntary sexual act in which a person is threatened, coerced, or forced to engage against their will, or any sexual touching of a person."

Sexual Assault Awareness Month has a broad and deep history, with roots that first originated in England, through an event called "Take Back the Night".
This movement gained great support and then became recognized in the U.S., in the late 70s, in New York and San Francisco. Through protests and rallies, in solidarity, women came together to respond to attacks that were happening as they walked the streets late at night.

Through a series of events, Sexual Assault Awareness Month became recognized and officially observed in the U.S. in April of 2001. It now also includes acts perpetrated against men as well.
During April, educational programs, publications, and events are sponsored worldwide to help the public to understand what sexual assault is and how it can be prevented.

In keeping with this effort, here are some important statistics you should know:

According to Rape Abuse and Incest National Network,  RAINN.ORG
  • Every 2 minutes in the U.S. a person is sexually assaulted.
  • 54% of sexual assaults are not reported to the police.
  • 38% of rapists are a friend or acquaintance.
  • 97% of rapists will never be incarcerated, not even for a day

These alarming statistics underscore the importance of more education, effective legislation, and continued efforts to end sexual assault, so that we may restore safety to our communities and to our homes.

For more information visit:

Sunday, April 14, 2013

In Honor of National Poetry Month...

Did you know that April is National Poetry Month?
In addition to other important awareness days, giving recognition to the art of poetry is important.
Poetry enriches. It tells a story.
It has the ability to "speak" to people of all different races, religions, and walks of life.

Who hasn't been touched by the words of Elizabeth Barrett Browning? Or moved by the works of Maya Angelou?

With this is mind, here are a few selections for your reading pleasure today. Hope you enjoy!


I've been scarred and battered.
My hopes the wind done scattered.
Snow has friz me, sun has baked me.

Looks like between 'em
They done tried to make me
Stop laughin', stop lovin', stop livin'--
But I don't care!
I'm still here!

Langston Hughes

Looked back over my life yesterday,
Looked at the girl, stared at the woman,
Smiled at her joy, lived again her pain.
Saw a crisis, stepped over it.
Her pain soothed by tears,
There were never enough.
Stop wasting time; she say to herself
Got a man-child to raise.
Nowhere to turn, what do I do?
Hell, how will I do it?  She moans again.
Saw that man-child reaching up,
Making his way with her,
Trust she gave him the right tools.
Don't know, she thinks,
Then, drinks just a little more.
Yeah, I looked back over my life yesterday,
Remembered the tears, the fears, the trials.
See, she's grown rounder, and wiser
Don't know how, never stopped
To see it coming; had a man-child ta' raise.
Rent ta' pay, and demons to fight.
Child callin', job callin' man callin',
She drinks just a little more,
Looked back at my life yesterday,
Now lookin back's not so bad.
Can see the whole picture now.
See teachers, struggles,
Found hope out of prayer
Moved forward assured.
Climbed out of potholes, tamed fears
Enemies slain, loves won,
No more man-child to raise;
For now he's a man.
Looked back at my life yesterday,
See me now, well worn, and fulfilled.


Vicki Ward
Excerpted from Life's Spices From Seasoned Sistahs