When a loved one passes away or your car is stolen, there is no shame because people recognize these tragedies are not your fault. Unfortunately, sexual assault often follows a different pattern in which victims are blamed for bringing their assault upon themselves. This has to change.

That’s why End Violence Against Women International (EVAWI) designed their Start by Believing campaign. Start by Believing strives to change the way we react and respond to rape and sexual assault in our communities. This campaign seeks to create a positive community response, inform the public, unite allies and supporters, and improve our personal reactions. The goal is to hear out victims of sexual violence and to begin our responses by believing them without a doubt.

Launched in 2011, Start by Believing has now received internationally. Check out each country’s efforts here: http://www.startbybelieving.org/Map.aspx