Start by Believing
About the Campaign
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. Now, we’re bringing this campaign to San Antonio.
Because a friend or family member is typically the first person a victim confides in after an assault, each individual’s personal reaction is the first step in a long path toward justice and healing. Knowing how to respond is critical—a negative response can worsen the trauma and foster an environment where perpetrators face zero consequences for their crimes.
Because rapists attack an average of six times, one failed response can equal five more victims. Start by Believing will lead the way toward stopping this cycle by creating a positive community response, informing the public, uniting allies and supporters, and improving our personal reactions. The goal is to change the world—and outcomes for victims—one response at a time.