April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Here's more information and list of resources regarding this important topic

Mar 31, 2021

The annual campaign raises public awareness about sexual assault and educates communities and individuals on how to prevent sexual violence. 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.

Sexual Harassment Online and Social Media Safety
Presentation by the Rape Crisis Center of Central New Mexico
April 14, 2021 – 11 am - 12 pm
Join Us Online - Zoom Information
Meeting ID: 956 4512 2521
Passcode: 733770

What is online sexual abuse?
Online sexual abuse can be any type of sexual harassment, exploitation, or abuse that takes place through screens.

Forms of online sexual harassment or abuse:

  • Sending someone hateful or unwelcome comments based on sex.
  • Sending unwanted requests to partners or strangers to send nude photos or videos or livestream sexual acts.
  • Performing sexual acts on webcam without the consent of everyone involved or in inappropriate settings (like during an online work meeting).
  • Sharing private images or videos without the consent of everyone involved, also known as revenge porn, which is illegal.
  • Sharing porn in spaces where everyone has not consented to view it (like in Zoom meetings or other inappropriate places, also called Zoom bombing).
  • Grooming children to enable their sexual abuse either online or offline.

Just because these forms of sexual abuse take place behind a screen doesn’t make their impact on the victim any less real. While some of these behaviors are crimes, particularly any that involve sexual abuse of children, others are just as harmful. Additionally, as images of abuse could be reshared and recirculated on the internet, there is an added layer of revictimization.

Actions to take when you see harmful content or comments

Behaviors or actions like sexist jokes, victim-blaming language or comments may seem like not that big of a deal, but they contribute to the same way of thinking that fuels violence. Although they only reflect the point of view of the person making them, their public visibility normalizes not taking sexual abuse seriously. In other cases, they may cause harm by re-traumatizing victims of abuse or assault who read them.

We can step in when we observe harmful behaviors online:

  • Report inappropriate content If you see sensitive or violent content on a social media platform, you can report it to the platform it was shared on (Instagram, Facebook, YouTube etc.) in order to have it flagged or removed. Different platforms have their own guidelines on what counts as inappropriate and what actions they will take, but that process starts with you making a report. 
  • Speak out when you see harmful comments When you see comments that blame victims for what happened to them, you can respond by refocusing accountability on the perpetrator. While you might not change the mind of the person who left the comment, others will see that not everyone agrees with them. 
  • Show your support to victims of online harassment Check in with the person that comments have been directed at to show your support. Or consider volunteering to be a moderator in certain contexts to help prevent future harassment.

Information provided by the
National Sexual Violence Resource Center

CNM Reporting:

If you believe you have been a victim of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and/or stalking, contact CNM Security to file a report.  If you have an emergency situation, call CNM Security's emergency line at 224-3001 or 911 from a CNM phone. For non-emergencies, call CNM Security at 224-3002. 

Campus Resources:

  • Dean of Students - 224-4342
  • Human Resources - 224-4600
  • CNM Security – 505-224-3002 (non-emergencies)

 Community Resources:

National Resources: