Share Your Story
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.

Feel free to identify yourself, or not.  Responses will be posted here at the website for the
Start by Believing campaign.  For other ways to get involved, click here.
Recent Stories
When I started having flashbacks to a childhood rape, I contacted my county's rape crisis center and asked if they knew of counselors that had experience treating male rape victims. Their answer: "We don't help men."
The first person I told about my rape was my husband and he made fun of me. Therefore, I never told anyone else for over 20 years. Then I started work for a sexual assault center as a prevention educator. After one year, I was able to tell my story to my supervisor and she believed me. It has changed my life. I teach students every day now that "THEY ARE THE BOSS OF THEIR BODY, ESPECIALLY THEIR PRIVATE PARTS! I then tell then that if they are abused, "It is not their fault!" and then I tell them to please tell a trusted adult. This is now a requirement for schools in our state because of Erin's Law. So I came up with a letter to parents and guardians telling them TO BELIEVE THEIR CHILD if they tell them they have been sexually assaulted or sexually abused. Statistically, 95-97% of survivors tell the truth because of the guilt and shame! I love this campaign!
Sometimes the perpetrator is your spouse. My husband assaulted me. I wanted to tell my doctor, but I couldn't bring myself to speak up out of fear. Eventually I told my sister. She minimized my experience by calling it "just rough sex". This minimizing by her and others not wanting to get involved, not wanting to help, not wanting to protect those being victimized just protects the perpetrator. We finally speak up and tell someone and they tune you out. This includes police, friends, family. I know what happened to me and by whom. The only people who can support a victim is someone who has been there and lived through it themselves; another victim.
When I was in foster care, I used to get sexually assaulted and raped each day. The only thing that I remembered was the pain that I had to experience each day
I'm a survivor. Not a day goes by where I think to myself that if I disclosed to anyone at that time I would just be a slut who made bad choices. I'm the punch line to the joke of the black guy raping the white girl (the one guy friend I told found it funny). The only person besides him who knows is my fiance, and thank God he believed me. He makes me feel safe. My wish for everyone that is a victim of violence is that they find their voice, whether that is speaking up, speaking out, or sharing your story one on one privately. It doesn't end until we say something. So when someone comes to you with their story- listen to them, believe them.
All Submissions
 
Data pager
4/28/2014
When I started having flashbacks to a childhood rape, I contacted my county's rape crisis center and asked if they knew of counselors that had experience treating male rape victims.
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4/23/2014
The first person I told about my rape was my husband and he made fun of me.
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4/22/2014
Sometimes the perpetrator is your spouse.
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4/18/2014
When I was in foster care, I used to get sexually assaulted and raped each day.
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4/14/2014
I'm a survivor.
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4/3/2014
I was friends with this guy for a few years.
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4/1/2014
I am going to acknowledge it in writing now.
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10/28/2013
I was sexually abused by my grandfather and told my my in 1984.
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10/6/2013
When I was 18 years old, I was newly in the military and stationed in Frankfurt Germany.
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8/14/2013
I work at a local rape crisis center.
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Start by Believing campaign proudly brought to you by End Violence Against Women International (EVAWI).