Reporting sexual assault understandably traumatic
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Colorado Springs Forensic Nurse Examiners Start by Believing
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USC Launches “Start By Believing” Campaign
10/3/2014
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There is no shame when your loved one dies. When your car is stolen. When you’re diagnosed with cancer. Friends and loved ones gather around you for support. They don’t blame you for "bringing it on yourself."

It should be the same with sexual violence. But all too often, survivors who have the courage to tell someone what happened are blamed for bringing it on themselves. This needs to change.

Start by Believing is a public awareness campaign designed by End Violence Against Women International (EVAWI) to change the way we respond to rape and sexual assault in our communities.


Won’t you join us?




Start by Believing
was created without any external funding from grants or corporate sponsors.

Support this campaign and help us reach friends, family members, responding professionals, and others with this simple yet powerful message:  Start by Believing!


  • My name is Dahiana Pichardo. I am a district court advocate from Rhode Island who cares and wants to help bring an end to domestic violence. When someone tells me they were raped or sexually assaulted, I Start by Believing.
  • My name is Suzanne Tijerina. I am The Sexual Assault Advocate who works @ The Crisis Center in Matagorda County. When someone tells me they were raped or sexually assaulted, I Start by Believing.
  • My name is Melissa Hemmestad. I am a survivor, an advocate, a mother, a counselor, and a friend. I believe. When someone tells me they were raped or sexually assaulted, I Start by Believing.
  • My name is Adriana Flores. I am Executive Director. When someone tells me they were raped or sexually assaulted, I Start by Believing.
  • My name is Jackie Young. I am in the Human Resources field supporting defense contractors overseas. In my line of work some employees may report sexual assaults. When someone tells me they were raped or sexually assaulted, I Start by Believing.
  • My name is Elizabeth Ditlevson Garman. I am the Director of a Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault service organization. When someone tells me they were raped or sexually assaulted, I Start by Believing.
  • My name is Debbie Hamilton. I am Supervisor of Victim Advocates and Special Victims Unit Detectives. When someone tells me they were raped or sexually assaulted, I Start by Believing.
  • My name is Michelle Harban. I am a SANE. When someone tells me they were raped or sexually assaulted, I Start by Believing.
  • My name is Rani Shah. I am a mama, a friend, a sister, a wife, a daughter, a niece, a human who believes and hopes for a world without sexual violence. When someone tells me they were raped or sexually assaulted, I Start by Believing.
  • My name is Michelle Brown. I am an advocate at the Illinois Valley Safe House Alliance. When someone tells me they were raped or sexually assaulted, I Start by Believing.
    
Start by Believing campaign proudly brought to you by End Violence Against Women International (EVAWI).