Start by Believing, by End Violence Against Women International and its partners, urges communities to take action and transform the way government responds to sexual assault because:
As few as one in five victims report their sexual assault, so they often don’t get the help they need. Without a report, law enforcement misses the chance to identify perpetrators in their community, repeat offenders go undetected, and more people are victimized.”
The website offers several action kits for healthcare, prosecutors, law enforcement (review and download below), military installations, campuses and more to make commitments to help sexual assault victims and survivors seek justice and recovery.
Law enforcement, according to the organization, can help take the lead in ending the cycle of silence.
The website profiles many of them in Champions of Change and Game Changers, which showcases public safety and other government personnel that both create system-level reform, and improve community response. Like Police Captain Mike Holt, who was also instrumental in establishing the Jackson-Madison County Mayor’s Council on Domestic and Sexual Violence, as well as the jurisdiction’s Domestic Violence Review Team and Sexual Assault Review Team, and many other achievements for his work on behalf of sexual assault victims in Western Tennessee and beyond.
The Start by Believing Law Enforcement Kit asks police agencies to help end the cycle of victim silence that enables most perpetrators of sexual assault to “walk free.” The kit reviews:
- The Start by Believing Pledge
- How to launch a campaign to reach sexual assault victims
- How to connect with peers
- How to inspire the community
Review and download the Start by Believing Law Enforcement Kit:
Learn more about law enforcement sexual assault victim interviews in our previous coverage:
Access our guide to community sexual assault prevention: