Start by Believing is a public awareness campaign established by the organization EVAWI (End Violence Against Women International) to foster an environment in which survivors are believed and perpetrators are held accountable for their crimes.
If you start by believing when a survivor discloses to you, you help create a path towards healing and justice. Your positive reaction can influence the survivor to reach out to others and create a supportive network necessary for healing. A negative response can worsen the effects of sexual trauma and allow perpetrators to live consequence-free.
Since rapists offend an average of six times, one failed response can equal five more victims. That is why the Johnson County Sexual Assault Response Team, JCSART, asks you to start by believing as well as join us in this crucial campaign to end sexual violence.
Click the following links for a Start by Believing brochure and poster adapted for the Johnson County community. We ask you to post these to your website, social media, in your agency window, place of business and/or other areas to show survivors that we “Start by Believing.”