Awareness Months

January is Stalking Awareness Month (SAM)

What is SAM?

Stalking Awareness Month (SAM) is a national observance in January that aims to raise awareness and coordinate efforts to fight stalking.

At UNC, stalking is defined as a "course of conduct . . . directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person . . . to fear for their safety or the safety of others or suffer substantial emotional distress."

Stalking can take many forms. It is not always based on a current, previous, or desired romantic relationship. Stalking can happen between people who know each other or who are strangers. It can happen through direct or indirect contact or through other people by any action, method, device, or means to follow, monitor, observe, surveil, threaten, or communicate to or about another person.  People often associate stalking with following, lurking, and spying. These are forms of stalking, but stalking can also be carried out through technology, including social media.

Stalking behaviors can include:

  • Sending repeated, unwanted calls, texts, emails, letters, and/or social media messages
  • Creating fake social media accounts or profiles to communicate, monitor, and/or impersonate
  • Using multiple social media platforms to engage in unwanted contact, monitoring, information gathering, and/or communication
  • Repeatedly showing up at someone’s home, workplace, class, or social gathering space
  • Leaving unwanted gifts or letters
  • Damaging property
  • Monitoring or tracking of someone’s location
  • Using information obtained at work to engage in unwanted personal communication, tracking, monitoring, and/or contact

Healthy relationships require all parties to recognize and respect boundaries. This includes recognizing when communication is unwanted or not reciprocated. For example, blocking someone on one social media platform is not an invitation to access that person on a different platform. If you are unsure whether your communication is welcomed, you should ask. Be sure to respect the response, especially if it is not the answer you hoped to receive.

There are various University resources available to individuals experiencing stalking. These resources may also be helpful if someone is concerned about their own behavior and/or the behavior of friends or peers. For more information and resources for those who are experiencing stalking or other prohibited conduct, visit

SAM Events and Initiatives - January 2023

SAM Tabling

Wednesday, January 18th from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Tabling locations at Davis Library Courtyard and Michael Hooker Atrium

Healthy Breakups Workshop

Wednesday, January 25th from 5:00 PM to 6:30 PM
Student Union Rm 3209

Let's face it, breakups are hard. In this 90-minute workshop, participants will learn how to navigate difficult post-breakup conversations, set healthy boundaries with exes, and create self-care plans. We'll also discuss how to identify unhealthy breakup behaviors and prevent them from escalating into stalking or abuse. Register here:

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM)

What is SAAM?

Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) is a national observance in April that aims to raise awareness and coordinate efforts to fight sexual assault, sexual harassment, and gender-based violence.

The EOC’s policies define sexual assault as having or trying to have sexual contact with another person without that person’s consent. Other forms of sexual violence can include:

  • Rape or sexual assault
  • Child sexual assault and incest
  • Sexual assault by a person’s spouse or partner
  • Unwanted sexual contact/touching
  • Sexual harassment
  • Sexual exploitation and trafficking
  • Exposing one’s genitals or naked body to other(s) without consent
  • Masturbating in public
  • Watching someone engage in private acts without their knowledge or permission
  • Nonconsensual image sharing

There is a social context that surrounds sexual violence. Social norms that condone violence, use power over others, traditional constructs of masculinity, the subjugation of women, and silence about violence and abuse contribute to the occurrence of sexual violence. Oppression in all of its forms is among the root causes of sexual violence. Sexual violence is preventable through collaborations of community members at multiple levels of society—in our homes, neighborhoods, schools, faith settings, workplaces, and other settings. We all play a role in preventing sexual violence and establishing norms of respect, safety, equality, and helping others. To learn more about sexual violence and how to prevent it, visit the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.

Supporting Survivors of Sexual Assault

Whether you are a friend, family member, Resident Advisor, professor, or staff member, there are things you can do and say to support an individual who discloses an incident of sexual violence to you. Listening compassionately and finding information about resources can be a great place to start. It is incredibly important to respect an individual’s decisions in what help and support they seek and to let them lead the way in their coping and healing. Resources like the Gender Violence Services Coordinators and Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) are available to secondary survivors and support people as well as those directly impacted by sexual assault.

HAVEN (Helping Advocates for Ending Violence Now) is a three-hour training that emphasizes the importance of listening, responding compassionately, and connecting survivors to resources on campus and in the community. HAVEN trainings are available for undergraduate students, graduate students, staff, and faculty. To learn more about HAVEN and register for a training, please click here.

SAAM Events and Initiatives - April 2023

SAAM Tabling with VPAS and the EOC Office

April 3rd, 14th, and 21st from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Davis Library Plaza

Join us outside of Davis Library to learn about preventing sexual violence on campus and the different support options available for survivors. We'll have snacks, crafts, swag, and info about how you can get involved with VPAS in the coming school year!

Zumbathon Fundraiser!

Wednesday, April 5th from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Stone Center Dance Studio

VPAS is hosting a ZUMBATHON to raise money for the Orange County Rape Crisis Center! In addition to a great night of dancing, participants will hear from OCRCC staff and the GVSCs about how people can reconnect with their bodies after trauma and how dance can be a powerful tool for healing. $5 entry fee - all proceeds go directly to OCRCC! Click here to register!

Not Your Grandma's Bingo

Friday, April 7th at 7:30 PM
Vecino Brewing Co.

Join the Orange County Rape Crisis Center (OCRCC) to support your community, win sex-positive prizes, and play bingo with your friends!

Give Back Night for OCRCC

Thursday, April 13th & Friday, April 14th from 4:00 PM to 10:00 PM
Piero's Pasta & Wine

Enjoy an evening at Peiro's Pasta & Wine and support SA Survivors in Orange County! Ten percent of sales will be donated to Orange County Rape Crisis Center.

Letters for Solidarity

Tuesday, April 18th - Drop in between 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM
VPAS Office, Stone Center, Suite 101

This month, we want to show survivors that they are not alone. Join the VPAS team to write an anonymous letter of solidarity to someone who has experienced sexual violence. After the event, the letters will be assembled into a scrapbook that will be available for all survivors who meet with the GVSCs. Writing materials will be available and the GVSCs will be on-site at the event to provide confidential support.

Denim Day @ Carolina

Wednesday, April 26th

Denim Day is a day for people around the globe to express their support for all those who have been impacted by sexual violence. It is a day to stand up for survivors and fight back against victim blaming and shaming. And this year, we're bringing Denim Day to UNC! This year, show your solidarity with survivors by wearing denim on April 26th. You can post a photo of your denim outfit to Instagram with the hashtag #DenimDayUNC!

Click here to learn more about the Denim Day programs happening throughout April!

October is Relationship Violence Awareness Month

What is RVAM?

Relationship Violence Awareness Month (RVAM), also known as Domestic Violence Awareness Month, is a national observance in October that aims to raise awareness and coordinate efforts to fight relationship violence.

At UNC, interpersonal violence (including intimate partner violence, dating violence, domestic violence, and relationship violence) is defined as a broad range of abusive behavior committed by a person who is or has been:

  • In a romantic or intimate relationship with the Reporting Party (of the same or different sex);
  • The *Reporting Party’s spouse or partner (of the same or different sex);
  • The Reporting Party’s family member; or
  • The Reporting Party’s cohabitant or household member, including a roommate.

Interpersonal violence includes physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions, attempted actions, or threats of actions that would cause a reasonable person in similar circumstances and with similar identities to fear for the person’s safety or the safety of others or to experience substantial emotional distress. Such behaviors may include, but are not limited to, physical violence and threats of violence to one’s self, one’s family member, or one’s pet. Learn more about Interpersonal Violence and other forms of prohibited conduct by visiting the Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment, and Related Misconduct.

*Reporting Party: Any individual who reports experiencing unwanted or discriminatory behavior (including interpersonal or relationship violence, sexual violence, sexual exploitation, and stalking) prohibited by UNC Chapel Hill’s Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment, and Related Misconduct or Policy on Prohibited Sexual Harassment under Title IX

RVAM Events and Initiatives - October 2023

Throughout the month of October, offices across campus will host different opportunities for you to learn more about RVAM. Please take a look at the calendar of events below for more information. Check back in throughout October as more events will be added!

Be That Friend Tabling

October 12th & 13th from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM
The Pit

Come see us in the Pit to learn all about our Be That Friend campaign! We'll also be giving out candy, stickers, buttons, and helpful information about safety and support resources on campus. We can't wait to see you there!

Be That Friend Workshop

Tuesday, October 17th from 5:30 to 7:00
Student Union, Rm 3407

When someone experiences sexual or gender-based violence, they are most likely to turn to a friend for help. In this 90-minute workshop, participants will learn how to Be That Friend who...

  • Listens well and provides trauma-informed support
  • Recommends campus and community resources
  • Intervenes safely to prevent incidents of violence from occurring


Thursday, October 26th from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Polk Place Quad

Safetoberfest is a spook-tacularly fun festival that aims to increase safety and awareness of resources for Carolina students, particularly in the lead up to Halloween.  Come trick-or-treat at all the different tables to play games, eat candy, and get free swag!

RVAM Goodie Bag Giveaway!

October 25th, 26th, and 27th
Businesses on campus and Franklin Street

Stop by one of our participating businesses to grab your free RVAM Goodie Bag! Each bag has information about support resources for survivors of gender-based violence, as well as candy, stickers, buttons, and more!

This year's participating businesses are:

  • Imbibe
  • Zog's Art Bar & Pool Hall
  • Linda's Bar & Grill
  • Goodfellows
  • Brandwein's Bagels
  • Lanza's Cafe
  • Local 506
  • Meantime Coffee
  • Dead Mule Club
  • Epilogue Books Chocolate Brews
  • Purple Bowl
  • Grata Diner
  • Dead Mule Club
  • The Gathering Place
  • Northside District
Sharing and printing options: