#IBelieveYou Campaign for Sexual Assault Awareness
Let’s make some noise and show survivors that we believe them!
Brandon University Sexual Violence Education and Prevention Office is launching the “I Believe You” Campaign to kick off our 2018-2019 Academic Year. It comes with a simple yet powerful message…when survivors of sexual assault disclose…. believe them. Once survivors learn this, they are more likely to come forward. Campaigns like this that aim to increase public support for survivors show a marked increase in sexual assault reporting, making our community safer for everyone.
This campaign was developed by the Association of Alberta Sexual Assault Services and first launched in 2015 and will be finishing its final year in 2018. Since then, millions of individuals from post-secondary institutions, business, community and student leaders, politicians and media personalities have participated with powerful messages of support.
Historically, survivors have been afraid to disclose for fear of not being believed or blamed. That fear is fading with other initiatives like Bystander Training, which encourages us that one way to be an active bystander is to believe a survivor who comes forward. When we see an increase in reporting, we know we’re doing a better job of helping survivors feel safe. And this builds a safer, healthier community for everyone.
Learn more at https://www.ibelieveyou.info/
Here are some ways you can show your support:
- Stop by the #IBelieveYou selfie booth in our Courtyard on Tuesday, September 11, 2018 from 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM and upload a picture with your #IBelieveYou Temporary Tattoo. The Farm 101.1 FM and Star 94.7 FM radio stations have partnered to join the cause and their cruisers will be live on location, handing out free Subway coupons and other goodies for those in attendance.
- Add your message of support for survivors to our BU #IBelieveYou video featuring BU Members from all across our campus we’re producing this year. Check out similar videos from the University of Calgary:
- Stop by the #IBelieveYou Community Booth from 9 am – 3 PM in the Mingling Area of the Knowles-Douglas Building (in front of Forbidden Flavors).
- Check out the posters hung around common areas of our campus (take a pic with one) and upload a message of support for survivors. Or download and display a poster in your area.
- Sign up for Bystander Training on our campus to learn how to intervene and prevent a sexual assault before it happens. Students can contact Carla Navid to sign up for Bystander Training at email@example.com
Next training will be:
Darrach Hall — September 11, 2018 -6-9 PM
Flora Cowan — September 13, 2018 6-9 PM
- For Faculty and Staff Full list of 2018/19 Workshops and other Learning Opportunities
- Students: Various workshops offered throughout the school year.
Add your Voice to the Chorus of support for Survivors:
Upload your own selfie with a message of support for survivors…. Remember to post using #IBelieveYou:
- Website: http://ibelieveyou.info/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Association-of-Alberta-Sexual-Assault-Services/385453678169704?ref=tn_tnmn
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/aasasmembership
- Instagram: https://instagram.com/aasas_ab
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-2kuaPLlFcL9pY1RVqHg3w
- Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/aasas
Despite the positive trends in Alberta, the national reporting rate for sexual assault remains at five per cent. So, while we’ve made great gains, we still have a distance to go. We’re encouraging more Albertans (in this case Manitobans) to add their voice to the chorus of support for survivors so that the message is even more commonly understood, and even more survivors feel safe to tell someone.
Practical tips if a survivor discloses to you:
- The best response is to start by believing. Believing is something you can show, do, and say.
- Unless a child is involved, reporting to police is optional, and there is no time limit on reporting.
- Respect their decision, whatever it may be.
- The role of friends and family is not to play judge and jury, but to start by believing. When people start by believing, due process can happen, but the choice to report belongs to the survivor.
- Avoid asking “why” questions. Even people with the best intentions can sound accusatory.
- Let them know it’s not their fault. No one asks to be sexually assaulted. Other positive words include I’m sorry that happened, and how can I help?
- If you’ve doubted someone in the past, remember it’s never too late to start believing.
Let’s show survivors we got their back.