With April designated as Sexual Assault Awareness Month, the City and County of Denver and partners continue educating the community about the importance of believing victims of sexual assault. With the momentum of the #MeToo movement, everyday more and more survivors are bravely telling their stories. Do you know how best to react if a loved one tells you they were sexually assaulted? Your reaction matters. Please, start by believing victims.
Because you probably won’t know when a coworker, sister, brother, friend, or child may tell you they were sexually assaulted, everyone is encouraged to visit www.Denvergov.org/StartbyBelieving to prepare themselves for that important conversation.
After being sexually assaulted, survivors may find it difficult to tell someone or talk about it for a number of reasons — fear, shame, doubt. It is critical that they understand it’s not their fault and that friends and family members know how to start by believing when someone confides in them, which is why Denver’s campaign continues with “Know Action”:
In its fourth year, Denver’s Start by Believing campaign is a collaborative effort between the following agencies: Denver District Attorney’s Office, Department of Public Safety, Denver Police Department, Denver Marketing Office, Sexual Assault Interagency Council, and The Blue Bench. The Start by Believing campaign was developed by End Violence Against Women International (EVAWI).
Additionally, thanks to the following sponsors for their contributions to Denver’s Start by Believing campaign: Lamar Advertising, which generously donated billboard space; Outdoor Promotions LLC, which donated bus shelter advertising space; 5280 Magazine, which donated space for a full-page ad in a coming issue, and Westword, which is running Denver’s Start by Believing ads.
If you or anyone you know has been sexually assaulted, there are many resources available:
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