After a sexual assault, most victims turn not to professionals such as counselors, police officers or university officials, but to their friends or family. Far too often the response from friends or family is doubt or blame, and victims are further discouraged from seeking support or reporting the crime. We want to stop this cycle of silence by equipping all members of the St. Thomas community to respond with compassion when someone shares they’ve been assaulted or raped.
Start by Believing is a national public awareness campaign of the nonprofit organization, End Violence Against Women International, focused on improving community responses to sexual assault.
In April of 2015 Ramsey County became an official Start by Believing community. As a member of the Ramsey County Sexual Assault Protocol Team, the University of St. Thomas is also a Start by Believing community. In October of 2016, the University’s Undergraduate Student Government passed a resolution in support of the campaign.
See our Upcoming Events for ways you can support this initiative at the University of St. Thomas.