Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioner’s sponsored the Proclamation on April 5, 2016, and declared April 2016 as Sexual Assault Awareness Month & “Start by Believing” Public Awareness Campaign. In Palm Beach County, the pain and trauma of sexual assault affects men, women, and children of all racial, social, religious, age, ethnic and economic groups. No one person, organization, agency or community can eliminate sexual assault on their own, but we can work together to educate our entire population about what can be done to prevent sexual assault, support victims, survivors and their significant others, and increase support for agencies providing services to victims/survivors.
In 2015, Palm Beach County Victim Services provided services to 1,325 victims of sexual assault, including 285 forensic exams. Current estimates suggest that no more than 20 percent of sexual assaults will be reported to law enforcement and less than 3 percent will result in the conviction and incarceration of the perpetrator. Research documents that victims are far more likely to disclose their sexual assault to a friend or family member. When when these loved ones respond with doubt, shame, or blame, victims suffer additional negative effects on their physical and psychological well-being.
The “Start by Believing” public awareness campaign (a program of End Violence Against Women International) is designed to improve the response of friends, family members, and community professionals, so they can help victims to access supportive resources and engage the criminal justice system.
Palm Beach County recognizes the vital importance of designating a time devoted to increasing the general public’s awareness to hold forth a vision of a community free from sexual violence. The Start By Believing
Campaign and Sexual Assault Awareness Month provide an excellent opportunity for citizens to learn more about preventing sexual violence.
The “Start by Believing” public awareness campaign is supported by Palm Beach County Sexual Assault Response Team (SART), was sponsored by Commissioner Mckinlay and supported by the Board of County Commissioners of Palm Beach County, Florida. Join the campaign!
Educate yourself at: http://www.startbybelieving.org/ and Start by Believing!!