This afternoon, President Donald Trump declared April 2017 “Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month.” Truly a grand gesture from a man who has done so much for many women’s personal awareness of sexual assault.
“As we recognize National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, we are reminded that we all share the responsibility to reduce and ultimately end sexual violence,” read the president’s proclamation. “As a Nation, we must develop meaningful strategies to eliminate these crimes, including increasing awareness of the problem in our communities, creating systems that protect vulnerable groups, and sharing successful prevention strategies.”
One might argue that no proclamation Trump will sign as president could possibly raise as much awareness of sexual assault as his own words.
“I’m automatically attracted to beautiful women—I just start kissing them,” said Trump, the same guy who just declared this coming month a month for reducing sexual assault, back in 2005. “It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab ‘em by the pussy.”
Since tape of Trump bragging about sexual assault surfaced last October, awareness of sexual assault has remained pretty high. More than 10 women have accused Trump of sexually accosting them without their consent. I can’t even look at the man without remembering that I am aware of sexual assault. An entire march—one of the largest political demonstrations in American history—occurred on the day after Trump’s inauguration, mainly involving women who seemed pretty aware of sexual assault.
“Our families, schools, and communities must encourage respect for women and children, who are the vast majority of victims, and promote healthy personal relationships,” said the proclamation President Trump signed today.
April is traditionally designated Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month, and so Trump was stuck. Either he went with historical precedent, or he, an admitted aficionado of sexual assault, broke with it. It’s hard to fathom a world in which the president’s team thought any scenario could go well for him from a public relations perspective. He’s just wrapping up one of the more unpleasant Women’s History Months of all time, which, in turn, occurred on the heels of an uncomfortable Black History Month. The only way these months could get more awkward for Trump from a public relations standpoint is if May was Bankruptcy Awareness Month. Or perhaps Russian Human Rights Violation Awareness Month.
“26,000 unreported sexual assaults in the military-only 238 convictions,” tweeted Donald Trump back in 2013. “What did these geniuses expect when they put men & women together?”
The tweet is still up.
“Every woman lied when they came forward to hurt my campaign,” said Trump, also, during a speech in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, back in October. “Total fabrication. The events never happened. Never. All of these liars will be sued after the election is over.”
As of right now, none of the women who accused Trump of sexual assault have been sued.
Women’s groups who opposed Trump’s election are, shockingly, unimpressed.
“For women everywhere, particularly survivors of sexual assault, this statement is a disgusting attempt to re-write history,” said Stephanie Schriok, president of EMILY’s List. “We all remember Trump bragging about being able to sexually assault women because he was famous. If Trump thinks one statement will cover up his decades of abuse leveled at women, he should think again. Women remember.”