May is Mental Health Awareness Month

May Page Image 2018

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and we believe it is important to acknowledge and support everyone living with mental illness, including survivors of sexual assault, domestic and dating violence, and stalking.  Trauma from sexual violence can have profound negative impacts on a survivor’s social, emotional, and mental well-being.  Survivors often develop mental health problems including depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), among many others.
Below are a list of resources that focus on trauma and mental health among community college students. While sexual violence victimization at community colleges remains an understudied topic, these articles help to demonstrate the negative impacts trauma of any kind can have on a student’s ability to continue their education.  ​​

We hope you will read these articles and utilize the Resource Guide for additional information related to these topics.  Together, we can end the stigma surrounding mental health and support survivors on their journey to healing.

CSAPP Colleges Stand Up to End Sexual Assault

During the month of April, CSAPPNH Colleges hosted several creative and informative community events to promote Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM).  Below is a compilation of photos and social media posts to showcase their amazing efforts to stand up against sexual assault!

Great Bay Community College

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Lakes Region Community College

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Manchester Community College

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Nashua Community College

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River Valley Community College

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White Mountains Community College

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Movies to Watch During Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Media and film can provide important narratives about difficult topics that can facilitate and normalize conversations about sexual violence. There are lots of movies that bring up sexual assault, but not all do it in the right way. Below we have listed several films we recommend to help spark a dialogue on your campus this #SAAM.

The Invisible War


The Invisible War is a groundbreaking investigative documentary about one of America’s most shameful and best kept secrets: the epidemic of rape within the U.S. military. The film, a nominee for the 2013 Academy Awards, paints a startling picture of the extent of the problem: Today, a female soldier in combat zones is more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire.

Click here for a viewing guide and list of discussion questions.



This film is a fact-based drama about the Boston Globe’s Pulitzer Prize-winning reporting of the cover-up of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. Spotlight delves into the investigation behind the cover story, and demonstrates

the lifelong impact of victimization as the journalists work to uncover the truth.

Click here for a viewing guide and list of discussion questions.


Audrie and Daisy

Audrie and Daisy Key ArtThis documentary examines the ripple effects on families, friends, schools and communities when two young women are sexually assaulted and the crimes are documented and shared on social media. Audrie & Daisy takes a hard look at American’s teenagers who are coming of age in this new world of social media bullying, spun wildly out of control.

Click here for a screening guide and list of discussion questions.


Boys Don’t Cry


The film is based on the true story of Brandon Teena, a transgender teenager who falls victim to a brutal crime perpetrated by two male acquaintances. Brandon’s story is an important reminder that sexual assault is a serious issue in the LGBTQ community.

Click here for an interview with director, Kimberly Peirce.


 The Line


A young woman is raped when a one-night stand far from home goes terribly wrong. Using a hidden camera, filmmaker Nancy Schwartzman goes head-to-head with the man who assaulted her, recording their conversation in an attempt to move through the trauma of her experience and achieve a better understanding of the sometimes ambiguous line between consent and coercion.

Click here for a discussion guide.


The Hunting Ground

huntinggroundThis 2015 documentary tackles the disturbing epidemic of sexual assault on college campuses and school officials’ efforts to cover up the crimes. Students from campuses across the country share their stories of survival, as they fight for justice while navigating a victim-blaming culture.

Click here for a film summary and list of discussion questions.




Based on the novel of the same name by Laurie Halse Anderson, Speak is about a teen who gets assaulted the week before starting high school. She then stops speaking, and has to deal with the aftermath of her attack. She copes by befriending an art teacher who helps her channel her anger into art.

Click here for an interview with Laurie Halse Anderson.




Based on the novel Push by Sapphire, Precious follows a young girl who is repeatedly assaulted by her father, though her mother doesn’t believe her. Despite all of the obstacles she faces, Precious meets with a social worker who helps her leave her abusive family and learn to read and write.

Click here for a viewing guide and list of discussion questions.

Books to Read During Sexual Assault Awareness Month

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and the team at Prevention Innovations Research Center is committed to keeping the conversation going all month (and year) long. We find that literature can often help us talk about difficult topics. Here are several books we recommend to help you start a conversation. We have also provided links to reading guides, discussion questions, and interviews with authors for each of the books listed.

we-believe-you-annie-clark-andrea-pino-3d-1 (1).jpgWe Believe You: Survivors of Campus Sexual Assault Speak Out
By: Annie E. Clark and Andrea L. Pino

A powerful collection of 36 true stories of survival, healing, and everyday activism from survivors of campus sexual assault, representing diversity of race, economic and family backgrounds, gender identities, interests, and capacities.

Click here for FAQs about the book.

51n6YlupRmL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_Blurred Lines: Rethinking Sex, Power, and Consent on Campus
By: Vanessa Grigoriadis

Grigoriadis travels across the country, interviewing college students, administrators, parents, and researchers about their experiences with sex and sexual assault on campus.  Her investigation presents a host of new truths and dispels myths and conflicting statistics related to rape and sexual violence on campus, and demonstrates how the long-standing rules of sex and power are being rewritten by the new generation of college students.

Click here for an interview with the author.

9780671021009_p0_v1_s550x406She’s Come Undone
By: Wally Lamb

Dolores Price recounts her life from age four to age 40.  After her parents separation and her mother’s mental breakdown, Dolores moves to her repressive grandmother’s house in Rhode Island. By the time she reaches eighth grade, she has only one friend, a boarder who eventually rapes her. Anesthetizing herself with junk food and soap operas, Dolores becomes an obese, isolated young woman who attempts suicide during her first semester in college and spends seven years in a mental institution. Ultimately, the heroine develops self-esteem, and finds love she was always searching for.

Click here for a reading guide and list of discussion questions.

9781449474256_p0_v11_s600x595Milk and Honey
By: Rupi Kaur
Poetry Collection

A collection of poetry and prose about survival and the experience of violence, abuse, love, loss, and femininity.  The book is divided into four chapters: the hurting, the loving, the breaking, and the healing.

Click here for an interview with the author.



9780345514400_p0_v2_s550x406.jpgI Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
By: Maya Angelou

Angelou’s coming-of-age story illustrates how strength of character and a love of literature can help overcome racism and trauma. The book begins when three-year-old Maya and her older brother are sent to Stamps, Arkansas, to live with their grandmother and ends when Maya becomes a mother at the age of 16. In the course of the book, Maya transforms from a victim of racism into a self-possessed, dignified young woman capable of responding to prejudice.

Click here for a reading guide and list of discussion questions.

9780062362599_p0_v3_s550x406.jpgHunger: A Memoir of (My) Body
By: Roxane Gay

Gay describes her experience of her body and her relationship to food and weight, particularly in the aftermath of being gang-raped at 12 years-old. Gay gained weight in the wake of her trauma, as both a means of comfort and of protecting herself from the world. The memoir explores what it means to learn to take care of yourself: how to feed your hungers for delicious and satisfying food, a smaller and safer body, and a body that can love and be loved—in a time when the bigger you are, the smaller your world becomes.

Click here for an interview with the author.

i-have-the-right-to-9781534425712_lgI Have the Right To: A High School Survivor’s Story of Sexual Assault, Justice, and Hope
By: Chessy Prout and Jenn Abelson

In 2014, Chessy Prout was a freshman at St. Paul’s School in Concord, NH, when a senior boy sexually assaulted her as part of a ritualized game of conquest. Chessy bravely reported her assault to the police and testified against her attacker in court. Then, in the face of unexpected backlash from her once-trusted school community, she shed her anonymity to help other survivors find their voice.

Click here for a reading guide and list of discussion questions.

9781476789644_p0_v2_s550x406.jpgLuckiest Girl Alive
By: Jessica Knoll

As a teenager at the prestigious Bradley School, Ani FaNelli endured a shocking, public humiliation that left her desperate to reinvent herself. Now, with a glamorous job,expensive wardrobe, and handsome fiancé, she’s this close to living the perfect life she’s worked so hard to achieve. Yet the question remains: will breaking her silence destroy all that she has worked for, or will it set her free?

Click here for a reading guide and list of discussion questions.

Do you have any book suggestions to add to our #SAAM reading list?
Email us at and let us know what you are reading this month!

Sexual Assault Awareness Month Resources


Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) is an annual campaign held every April to raise public awareness about sexual assault and educate communities and individuals on how to prevent sexual assault.  The 2018 SAAM campaign theme is “Embrace Your Voice,” focused on recognizing the power of one’s voice to make positive change.

The National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) provides a host of free tools and resources, including campaign planning guides, fact sheets, and posters/coloring pages.  Below you will find selected resources to use on your campus this April. Click on the resource title to be directed to the webpage or PDF download.

Sexual Assault Awareness Month Campaign Guide
This guide includes various SAAM resources, including an overview of SAAM, social media toolkit, and various fact sheets for different audiences.

Event Planning Guide
A list of event ideas for planning and implementing a successful SAAM campaign.

Sexual Violence Fact Sheet
This one-page infographic provides a variety of important statistics related to sexual violence.

This blog includes various creative ways to engage your community during Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

You can also view the CSAPPNH Calendar to see what SAAM events are happening across the state of New Hampshire this April.

Let us know what you are doing to end sexual violence during SAAM! Share your photos and events with us at