“We recommit ourselves this month to establishing a culture of respect and appreciation for the dignity of every human being,” Trump said in a statement.
The proclamation noted that on average there are 300,000 instances of rape or other sexual assault crimes committed every year, and vowed that his administration would fight to protect people from sexual violence. He also committed to fighting child pornography. The statement also called for young people to hold their peers accountable and adults to teach men and boys to prevent violence.
“Our families, schools, and communities must encourage respect for women and children, who are the vast majority of victims, and promote healthy personal relationships,” the statement read.
On Wednesday, First Lady Melania Trump also gave a speech calling for “the international community to stand up against violence toward women and children and declared the need for promoting women’s empowerment” at the State Department’s International Women of Courage Award ceremony.
Trump’s committment to the issue of sexual assault drew predictable hatred from the left and Never Trumpers.
“I wonder if Trump would encourage this same support of the 16 women who have publicly accused him of sexual assault,” wrote Huffington Post editor Emma Gray on Twitter. Gray wrote an article at the Huffington Post headlined “Accused Sexual Predator Proclaims April National Sexual Assault Awareness Month” as she complained that Trump’s statement “removes almost all references to rape culture.”
“When I read Trump declared April, ‘National Sexual Assault Awareness Month’, I thought it was an April Fools joke,” CNN commentator Ana Navarro snarked on Twitter.
“Trump declared April National Sexual Assault Awareness month. In related news, Putin named April National Don’t-Stand-By-Open-Windows month,” wrote actor George Takei on Twitter.
“Irony just stabbed itself in the heart with a pair of dull scissors,” tweeted Kashana Cauley, a writer for The Daily Show.
“Grab Em By The Pussy Month will be in May,” wrote MSNBC anchor Christopher Hayes.