Monthly Archives: May 2016

Unacceptable Acceptance Letters

This video was shared with CAN from the Green Dot Campaign. They stated “This is excellent marketing for Live the Green Dot…our kids need protection at every University…one Green Dot at a time…and it all starts with the Acceptance Letters! They need to be informed “before” they get to college so they can truly experience the good things college has to offer them…and not always worry about what lurks not only in the shadows…but in the light. As they said, “it’ll be someone you know!” Go to for more information!”


Youth Summit

SBB substance abuse coalition

Palm Beach County Substance Abuse Coalition held a Youth Summit at Palm Beach Lakes High School on April 23, 2016. Survivor Action Team member, Ashley Foster, spoke with the students about her assault and healthy relationships. Advocates and a therapist were present at the summit from Palm Beach County Victim Services to tell the students about the Start By Believing campaign. After students learned about the campaign and took the pledge, they signed a poster. This poster was presented to the Substance Abuse Coalition’s Alexa Lee on May 18th at the monthly CAN meeting.

Start By Believing

Victim Services and SART Promote National Campaign

April is national Sexual Assault Awareness Month and to promote the campaign locally, members of the Palm Beach County Victim Services’ Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) office, located at 4210 North Australian Avenue in West Palm Beach, decorated a field with 642 flags. This figure is the total number of new sexual assault victims assisted through advocacy and/or therapy over the past year.

Victim Services employees inscribed “We Believe” on the fence surrounding the field. Start By Believing is the newest campaign supported by Palm Beach County. It is a program through End Violence Against Women International with the goal of changing the way we respond to sexual assault in our communities.

Sadly, most victims do not come forward to report the crime for various reasons, including associated stigma and fear of not being believed. Because of this, awareness regarding reporting options and availability of help is greatly needed. The Start By Believing campaign is trying to shift the community’s thinking to one that does not blame victims for their assault.

Changing our response to sexual assault is important because according to the Florida Council Against Sexual Violence, only 18% of forcible rapes are reported to law enforcement. If victims feel they will be believed and supported, it is more likely that they will report to police or request services.


Victims’ Rights Luncheon

Luncheon 3

36th Annual Crime Victim Rights Week Awards Luncheon was held on Friday, April 15, 2016 at the Embassy Suites in West Palm Beach. This event is hosted by the Palm Beach Victims’ Rights Coalition.

This luncheon acknowledges and honors those individuals in our community who have protected and defended the rights of crime victims. This year’s luncheon featured Key Note Speaker Patrick Knight, a Civil Defense Litigation Attorney in Miami, Florida and author of the book, Blessed to Survive: The Thanksgiving Day Massacre.


The Lois Messer Victim Advocate Award of the Year Award was presented to Ronnie Barker, a victim advocate with Palm Beach County Victim Services & Certified Rape Crisis Center. Ronnie was selected for her outstanding qualities as a victim advocate for more than two decades as she excels at service delivery to all categories of victims of violent crimes. Her compassion and determination has made a profound difference in the lives of many crime victims. Respected and revered by her peers, law enforcement, the Office of the State Attorney, and most importantly victims, is what drives Ronnie to say, “I love my job!”

Luncheon 2

Palm Beach County Sexual Assault Response Team awarded Assistant State Attorney Jessica Kahn with the 1st annual SART Award for her work with the Start By Believing Campaign.

Luncheon 8