Campaign Launches to Improve Public Response to Sexual Assault

From an email:

“The District of Columbia Sexual Assault Response Team (DC SART) is launching a public awareness campaign to improve public response to sexual assault.

The campaign is called Start by Believing, because a friend or family member is typically the first person a victim confides in after an assault, and each person’s 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 sexual assault predators face zero consequences for their crimes.

Research documents that rapists attack an average of six times, which means that 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 our community and outcomes for victims, one response at a time.

The Start By Believing campaign was developed by End Violence Against Women International (EVAWI). DC SART is comprised of the following organization and government partners: DC Office of Victim Services, DC Metropolitan Police Department, United States Park Police, DC Forensic Nurse Examiners, Network for Victim Recovery of DC, Wendt Center for Loss and Healing, Georgetown University Health Education Services, DC Rape Crisis Center, DC Department of Forensic Sciences, DC Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, MedStar Washington Hospital Center, and United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.

The agencies listed are involved in launching the campaign in the District and are prepared to respond to survivors in our region.  If you or anybody you know has been sexually assaulted, help and resources are available at or for campus specific resources, www.uaskdc.orgTo report a sexual assault, call 911. To obtain resources without reporting to police, call the DC SANE Call Center at 1-800-641-4028.

For more information about the campaign, please visit   For more information about DC SART please visit