TAKE THE PLEDGE
When someone tells you they were raped or sexually assaulted, knowing how to respond is critical. A negative response can worsen the trauma and foster an environment where perpetrators face no consequences for their crimes.
Start by Believing stops this cycle by improving our personal and professional reactions.
It all starts with you. Make your personal commitment to Start by Believing.
- Start by Believing when someone tells me they were raped or sexually assaulted
- Support survivors on the road to justice and healing
- Help end the silence
I PLEDGE TO:
My name is Jenny. I work as a National Guard Sexual Assault Response Coordinator and Victim Advocate. I strive to bring awareness to the ongoing toxicity that is sexual assault. I care about how survivors are treated and I strive to give them the best care I can, from start to finish.
My name is Nicole Steinicke. I am an advocate at Utah State University who works with survivors of sexual violence. I care about my clients and always Start by Believing.
My name is Shryl Toner-Whitesell. Sexual assault survivors deserve to be heard and believed. I will be there to support them so they do not have to walk alone. I will #StartByBelieving
My name is Aubrynn Sloat. I Start by Believing because some people in my life didn’t and that made the whole experience so much harder.
My name is Carl. I am a PO assigned to cases of sexual and domestic violence. I see the entire “offender-centered” process of the justice system. Victims need a voice. I pledge to “Start by Believing” to set the example I would like others to take. Too many unreported acts of violence. This is a step we can all take together.
My name is Rashid. I’m pledging to support the voices of survivors. I have friends and family who have had someone doubt their story and rationalize the behavior of the perpetrator. Believing can be more powerful than advice, empathy, condolences, thoughts, and payers, etc. Start by Believing.
My name is Suzanne Gabelick. I am a survivor of rape that took place during a fraternity party where my friends were present. My friends did not believe me. I was devastated and my life was forever changed. I never reported the rape, but have silently carried that trauma with me. I don’t want anyone else to ever suffer the additional pain of not being believed; when someone tells me they have been raped or sexually assaulted, I Start by Believing.
My name is Beau Shaniuk. I am pledging to #StartByBelieving because not only am I a sexual assault/domestic violence advocate, but I am a firm believer in advocacy for all historically marginalized, victimized, and silenced groups of individuals, and I believe in the power of solidarity and storytelling. No matter who you are or what the story behind your survivorship looks like, your feelings are valid, your healing is important, and your stories deserve to be heard.
My name is Alicia Manning. I am a SVU Investigator. I pledge to Start by Believing when someone tells me they were raped or sexually assaulted. Support Survivors on the road to justice and healing. I pledge to help end the silence.
My name is Hayden Ramsey. I am pledging to Start by Believing because as an advocate, victim/survivor, and community member I understand that listening is the first step toward healing. We must all Start by Believing the lived experiences of others.
My name is Rhonda. I am an ER Nurse at St. Joseph Medical Center in Joliet, Illinois. In my career, I have helped many who have been involved in sexual assault. I pledge to Start by believing.
I am a survivor, and also an advocate, who believes that it is time to stop brushing abuse stories under the rug. Disrespectful, harmful, and devastating acts are being committed every day, to all ages of people. This problem is real and needs to see the light of day if we are ever to stop it and hold the perpetrators accountable. – Anonymous
I am a survivor and advocate. I Start by Believing because it helps everyone when we support survivors we foster individual and community resilience! – Anonymous
As a former sex-crimes prosecutor, I learned that every interaction with a survivor can hurt or heal. To “Start By Believing” is a step toward their healing. – Anonymous
I am an abuse investigator. This is an amazing program I fully believe in. I have seen too many victim stories discounted immediately by those who could have made a difference. On a personal note, my daughter was sexually assaulted and thankfully, the police where she was did Start by Believing her. – Anonymous
I am a survivor. I am also a mother to a transgender adult. I worry every day for his safety, knowing that the Transgender Community is often targeted for sexual assault crimes. I want to stay informed and spread the “Start by Believing” mission far and wide. Any change in perception and thinking must begin with me. – Anonymous
I am pledging because I am a survivor. It took over ten years to put my rapist in jail. I was very lucky that he was put away and I hear way too many stories of people not being believed. I want to support other survivors and I want to let them know that at least one person believes them. – Anonymous
I am a survivor of sexual assault. A lot of people did not believe me including detectives I put my trust in. I pledge because I never want someone to ever go through what I had to go through. – Anonymous