The Sexual Assault Assistance Program of the Treasure Coast and Okeechobee is dedicated to changing the way we respond to rape and sexual assault in our communities. With the Start by Believing campaign, our goal is to pave the way for survivors to pursue justice and healing, so the decision to come forward and seek help is a safe one.
The Start by Believing campaign is designed to change this. By preparing both professionals and loved ones to respond appropriately to sexual assault disclosures, we are working to improve outcomes for victims, one response at a time.
All our Advocates, Therapists, and Staff have pledged to Start By Believing survivors who disclose sexual assault. It’s easy for you to support survivors, too. Here’s how to take action:
1. Start by Believing
“I believe you.”
“I’m sorry this happened.”
“I am here for you.”
2. Be Supportive
“You can tell me as much, or as little as you want.”
“It’s not your fault.”
“I’m glad you told me. I’m so proud of you.”
3. Ask How You Can Help
“What can I do to support you?”
“I can stay with you tonight. Would that help?”
“Do you want me to go with you to the hospital or police station?”
4. Avoid “Why” Questions
Even with the best of intentions, “why” questions can sound
accusatory and make survivors blame themselves.
IF THIS IS A MEDICAL EMERGENCY OR IMMEDIATE CRISIS, PLEASE CALL 9-1-1.
If you are experiencing thoughts of suicide, verbal, physical or psychological abuse, please call 2-1-1 for support and services.