Webinar Archive

Webinar Archive


“Start by Believing” A Case Study in Transforming Victims to Survivors

“Start by Believing” A Case Study in Transforming Victims to Survivors

Have you ever wondered what the long-term impacts of being believed can do for crime victims? Join survivor advocate Kimberly Corban and Weld County, Colorado District Attorney Michael J. Rourke as they discuss Kimberly’s 2006 assault by a stranger who broke into her college apartment.

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Identifying Repeat Offenders by Applying Lessons Learned from The Rape Kit Backlog

Identifying Repeat Offenders by Applying Lessons Learned from The Rape Kit Backlog

A new picture of sexual violence and homicide offenders has emerged due to increased funding to test backlogged and unprocessed rape kits, and the collection and processing of DNA from known offenders. This session will summarize findings from agencies nationwide and outline specific best practices gleaned from big misses in investigations and DNA processing. The presenter will provide case examples, resources for further guidance on intra- and inter-agency collaboration, as well as ideas for using DNA and information technology to identify and track repeat offenders.

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Speaking Out Online is Trending: Start by Believing and Social Media

Speaking Out Online is Trending: Start by Believing and Social Media

Over the past decade, social media has allowed anti-violence programs and criminal justice agencies to connect with their communities in new and exciting ways. Advocacy organizations across the country have identified new avenues for connecting with survivors and their loved ones, by posting messages of support and opportunities for activism, while criminal justice organizations are able to foster new connections with communities by participating in online conversations that are timely and relevant to the people they serve.

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“Our Response Just Wasn’t Good Enough:” Overhauling our Criminal Justice Response to Sexual Assault

“Our Response Just Wasn’t Good Enough:” Overhauling our Criminal Justice Response to Sexual Assault

In 2016, we knew there was something missing in the criminal justice response to sexual assault victims in Ramsey County, Minnesota. We were polite in our interactions with victims and we took victims’ wishes into account. We regularly took cases to trial and won many of them, but reporting rates were low and not increasing. Many victims dropped out of the process, and we didn’t always understand why. As Ramsey County Attorney John Choi described, “I knew deep down that our response just wasn’t good enough. Survivors weren’t getting the help they needed. We weren’t achieving justice for many victims.” That all began to change when Ramsey County embarked on a 6-year journey which resulted in sweeping changes to our criminal justice response.

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Elevating Survivor Voices: The Impact of Start by Believing

Elevating Survivor Voices: The Impact of Start by Believing

All too often, when sexual assault victims find the courage to come forward, their disclosures are met with doubt or blame, rather than empathy and support. End Violence Against Women International set out to better understand the impact of responses to victim disclosures, both from professionals as well as loved ones.

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Start by Believing: The Johnnetta McSwain Story: “Why Did Nobody Believe Us, Why, Why?”

Start by Believing: The Johnnetta McSwain Story: “Why Did Nobody Believe Us, Why, Why?”

This presentation will shed light on the adverse effects of not believing when childhood sexual and sexual assault is reported.

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A Tale of Two Cases: The Importance of Believing and Supporting Sexual Assault Victims

A Tale of Two Cases: The Importance of Believing and Supporting Sexual Assault Victims

Through a case comparison of the Nassar and Kelly cases and prosecutions, Ms. Povilaitis will reveal the similarities and differences between the two cases, including the societal, media, judicial and victim responses of each. Povilaitis will reveal how even when best practices are incorporated and professionals adequately trained, there is never a guaranteed result for victims.

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Chelsea’s Story

Chelsea’s Story

EVAWI’s Start by Believing campaign has impacted thousands of professionals in their work to respond effectively to sexual violence. In this session, Chelsea Young, a survivor of sexual assault at a small Virginia college, and Dwight Rudd, a Virginia Attorney, share how this campaign directly altered the criminal justice response to her case for the better.

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Free Session: Start by Believing: A Tool for Prevention

Free Session: Start by Believing: A Tool for Prevention

In April 2021, we are celebrating ten years since EVAWI first launched the Start by Believing campaign. Over the past decade, 554 US communities have launched campaigns, seeking to improve the way we respond to sexual and domestic violence, and thousands of people have made the pledge to Start by Believing.

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Why Is It So Hard to Believe Disclosures of Sexual Violence and What Can We Do About It?

Why Is It So Hard to Believe Disclosures of Sexual Violence and What Can We Do About It?

American society has a long tradition of disbelieving and discounting disclosures of sexual violence (SV). This deters survivors from reporting crimes and participating in the criminal justice process, and also from accessing services that would help them address SV-related mental health and physical health problems. This session will examine factors that contribute to these harmful practices: lack of knowledge about the true nature of SV, the lingering impact of historical SV laws, and commonly held stereotypes about SV. The session will also explore the role of alcohol-related blackouts in many SV cases and implications for investigation and prosecution. The session will conclude with a discussion of how to use this information to improve public understanding of SV and support for survivors.

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