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Describe a time when professionals, friends, or family members received a disclosure of sexual violence and they did Start by Believing.  Or a time when they didn’t.

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Start by Believing campaign, and they may be shared via social media. 

Please note that we cannot respond to your anonymous post or provide help or other services.  If you need help or want to talk to someone, please contact the 24-hour sexual assault hotline operated by the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) at 1-800-656- HOPE or visit to access the online hotline.

All submissions are reviewed, and a determination for approval will be made prior to posting on this website.

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Recent Stories
I met a man on and on our one and only date he drugged and raped me. It turns out he was a serial date rapist who had sexually assaulted dozens on women in Philadelphia. I was contacted by the DA's office there who was working with SVU on an investigation into all the rapes. I received support not only from prosecutors and law enforcement but from WOAR the local rape crisis center where I met my counselor. When it was time for me to tell my family and friends they all believed and supported me. Once I began speaking out publicly and my story went national more friends came forward to support me along with many strangers too. It is my mission for every victim of sexual assault to receive that same kind of support which is what I work so hard to do every day.
I am sixteen years old. Only a year and a half ago I was violently raped by a marine who my ex-bestfriend contacted and told that I was interested in hooking up with him. He began to attempt to kiss me, he told me to make him happy, I stayed silent. I don't have too much recollection from the rape as I was beaten into submission and attacked for over an hour. I made the mistake of not reporting the assault for over six weeks, all evidence was washed away, I shammed by the police dept. for not reporting it earlier. No victim is alone, report it, its not your fault, and remember that. You are not the monster, you are a flourishing human being who deserves a great life, take what has happened and change yourself for the better with it, it may seem impossible but with determination you can change things around. You can make a difference -Svetlana R
I'm 17 years old and a senior in high school. They say these are the best years of your life. All my friends seem to be doing is drinking so that's what I would do. I was at a friends house on a normal Saturday night, surrounded by people I cared about. I started drinking early that night and my friends had to bring me to bed. While I was sleeping a boy showed up that none of us knew and no one chose to ask him to leave. It's two in the morning and all I remember is waking up to a boy who spoke a different language on top of me. I screamed and he ran downstairs. I couldn't find my pants anywhere. I told my friends downstairs and they chased him outside. I cried for hours and decided that I wouldn't say anything. The next morning I went to basketball and broke down, I ended up telling my basketball coach who brought me kindly to the hospital. They don't explain to you how to deal with this at school. There are no right things to say. The next 12 weeks you wait for a rape kit that who knows will have any evidence. Thankfully the police found him and he will be in custody untill trial. Everyday I look at myself and feel that I did something wrong. Sexual assault is never your fault and you are not alone.
He seemed so nice. I was 19 and about to finish my first semester at college; he was 18 and in my Chemistry class. About a week before Thanksgiving break he sat down next to me, and the next thing I knew we were hanging out outside of class for hours at a time. I knew I'd be transferring schools after Christmas, so I told this boy I wanted nothing physical to happen between us. We held hands, and I let him kiss my cheek, but that was where I drew the line. He verbally agreed to my boundaries - and then he started pushing them down. On December 5th, which was the day I turned 20, he asked if he could spend the night in my bed, just so we got one night together before I left. I agreed on the condition that he maintain my limits: no touching below the waist. He agreed, and we fell asleep without incident. There was no alcohol or drug use involved. I woke up the next morning to his fingers penetrating me while I was asleep. I told him to stop, and he said he would "in a second." I repeated that he needed to stop; he didn't. I finally physically moved his hand away from me, but after only a few minutes it was back. He kept telling me he was doing this because he "cared about me" and my needs. This continued all morning, followed by him coercing me into giving him a hand job until he ejaculated. When I tried to stop, he physically held my hand in place. When everything was over, I didn't make him leave my bed. I thought that if I acted like we were a couple and pretended that I liked being intimate with him, then I would feel less traumatized. I played the part to the extent of asking him to kiss me and start up again, but he refused. (So much for caring about me - that all went away once his needs were satisfied.) When he eventually got out of bed, I reminded him angrily that I'd be leaving forever soon, and that I'd changed my flight to a later date so I could spend more time with him. He stood on the floor for a few seconds, and then jumped back into bed and grabbed my wrists roughly. I struggled and yelled at him to stop; after about a minute of struggling, he let go of me and walked out the door. I waited five days before I reported him to the police. Five days I spent lying on the floor - the bed was too traumatizing - trying to convince myself that I'd wanted it. Five days trying to work out why someone who seemed so nice would break every limit we'd agreed to. Every definition I can find classifies what happened to me as rape, even though no penis was involved. Penetration of the sex organs, however slight, by ANY object is legally a rape. Non-consensual sexual contact and sexual harassment (coercion) were present, as well. That was two months ago. The police have done nothing. The college has done nothing. I haven't seen the guy since then, and I'm at a different school in a different state now so I likely won't see him any time soon. But that's not justice, and it brings me no peace of mind. I always thought rapists were the ones in dark alleys with evil smiles. Nobody told me it could be the nice guy from Chemistry class.
I don’t know what to do anymore. My friend was sexually assaulted and we asked the school to deal with it and they said he was innocent. He started stalking her so we asked for a peace order and the judge said they didn’t know what was going on so she didn’t get it. My friend is literally going through hell right now because of a guy called Henry Kramer. And we’ve pretty much run out of hope. Somebody help.
All Submissions
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I met a man on Match.
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I am sixteen years old.
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I'm 17 years old and a senior in high school.
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He seemed so nice.
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I don’t know what to do anymore.
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When I was 13 I had my first boyfriend.
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When I was 10 years old, I had both betrayed and sexually violated by my paternal grandfather on his farm here in Alberta, Canada.
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I was six years old when I first remember my maternal grandfather molesting me, however, I clearly remember the conversation that led up to the incident and I am certain that it had happened before and I just can't or won't remember it, even now, 31 ...
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I was sexually assaulted last year when I was 15 a week after my birthday.
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I was 6 years old when it first started.
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Start by Believing campaign proudly brought to you by End Violence Against Women International (EVAWI).