SafeHouse Center
24/7 HelpLine: 734-995-5444
If you are in immediate danger, call 911.
Linea de Apoyo de 24 horas: 734-995-5444
Si esta en grave peligro, llame a 911.

Start By Believing

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One failed response can mean five more assaults.

Stop the cycle and make our communities safer.

At SafeHouse Center, we’re thrilled to join the Start by Believing Campaign this year. Start by Believing is an international campaign organized by End Violence Against Women International, and for the first time a Washtenaw County coalition has been formed to develop a county-wide campaign.

So What Is Start by Believing?

Start by Believing is a nation-wide public awareness campaign uniquely focused on the public response to sexual assault. Once a survivor reports an assault, each individual’s personal reaction is the first step in a long path towards justice and healing. Knowing how to respond is critical– a negative response can worsen the trauma and foster and environment where perpetrators face zero consequence for their crimes.

Because rapists attack an average of six times, 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 outcomes for victims, one response at a time.


How Can I Get Involved?

  • First of all, you should join the Start by Believing of Washtenaw County Facebook page so that you can keep up to date with the various events and campaigns that will be happening throughout the county. Because we have so many community partners working to pull this off, this is the best, one-stop-shop source for information.
  • Then you should make the Start by Believing Commitment, pledging to believe survivors when they come forward so that as a community we can provide them with better support and increase the likelihood that they will receive justice.
  • You can share your story, as Start by Believing works to create a network of survivors and community members who bring awareness to victim blaming and support survivors.
  • You can also order official materials to display at your office, or download graphics to snazz up your emails, social media, and make your own publications.
  • Get social! Take some selfies or group shots with customized Start by Believing placards (in English and Spanish), and post ’em on your social media pages with the hashtag #StartbyBelieving.

So What is Washtenaw County Doing for This?

  • Well, our most exciting news is that on April 6th, 2016, which is Start by Believing Day, Washtenaw County will be proclaiming that the county will be a Start by Believing County!
  • A number of our community partners will be hosting Start by Believing events. Make sure to follow the Facebook page to stay in the loop!
  • UofM DPSS has a great page where they list their events! You can find that here.

Join us. Start by Believing Today.

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