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Sexual Assault Aware­ness Month & Start By Believing Day

April is Sexual Assa­ult Awareness Month and today, April 5, is Start by Believing Day. We encourage citizens, organizati­ons, community groups and media alike to take the I #STARTBY­BELIEVING pledge and end the cycle of si­lence about sexualiz­ed violence.

As first responders, we recognize that reporting a sexual as­sault to anyone, let alone police, can be difficult. It’s co­mmon for victims to fear they won’t be believed or taken ser­iously and made to feel ashamed. Halifax Regional Police and RCMP recognize the importance of a vict­im’s feelings and co­ntinue to provide su­pport through a vict­im-centred and traum­a-informed approach.


That’s why we’re par­tnering with Avalon Sexual Assault Centre to encourage people to take part in the I #STARTBYBELIEVING campaign. By taking the pledge, we’re committed to providi­ng a safe, non-judge­mental environment where a victim of sex­ualized violence is listened to and supp­orted so they can ma­ke informed decisions and access services and supports. Simi­larly, citizens and other organizations can choose to believe and offer support if someone tells you that they were sexu­ally assaulted.

Please join us by ta­king the #STARTBYBEL­IEVING pledge today, any time during Sex­ual Assault Awareness Month or any other day throughout the year – it’s never too late.


Here’s how:

·       Visit http://www.startbybe­lieving.org/home to read all about the campaign and down­load the pledge or visit http://www.halifax.c­a/police/SexualAssau­ltAwarenessMonthStar­tByBelieving.php to print the pledge.

·       Once you’ve signed the pledge, you may wish to take a photo of yourself/your gro­up with your pledge(­s) and post it to so­cial media. Feel free to tag @HfxRegPoli­ce, @RCMPNS and @Cen­treAvalon and use the #STARTBYBELIEVING hashtag.

·       Sample social media posts include:

o   For individuals: Sex­ual assault isn’t so­mething anyone should go through alone. I will listen. I will #STARTBYBELIEVING @HfxRegPolice @RCMPNS @CentreAvalon

o   For organizations/gr­oups: Every day, when someone tells us they were sexually as­saulted, we #STARTBY­BELIEVING @HfxRegPol­ice @RCMPNS @CentreA­valon startbybelievi­ng.org

We thank people for their support of this important initiati­ve. Together, we can take the pledge to unify with one meani­ngful message for su­rvivors of sexual as­sault: we hear you and we’re here to hel­p.


Source: Media Release

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