Originating from End Violence Against Women International (EVAWI), Start by Believing is a worldwide effort to support survivors and end gender-based violence. EVAWI aims to improve policy and institutional practices dealing with incidents of gender-based violence. The organization offers information and resources for advocates working with survivors.
Start by Believing emphasizes the initial step of supporting a survivor of gender-based violence by believing them. Over 9000 people submitted pledges to commit to believing survivors and supporting them through their healing process. You can make a personal commitment to this cause here: Pledge.
Navigating the experience that you had can be difficult, particularly when you can’t name it. Define What Happened explains the differences between sexual abuse, sexual assault, rape, and sexual harassment. Another step is to explore what resources and options you have. Explore Your Options provides affirmations and services to contact. Actions You Can Take provides information on medical services along with forensic exams (also known as a SANE exam). The page provides reporting options: to law enforcement, to Title IX offices, and to the military system.
Helping a Survivor
What To Say offers those who are listening to survivors’ statements to validate the survivor’s feelings and experiences. The organization also provides a list of tips for speaking with survivors: Helping a Survivor.