Sexual violence has a profound impact on a survivor’s life. So do the reactions of others.
Thanks to the powerful voices of survivors, it is clear how harmful it can be when others respond negatively. Yet their stories also illustrate the healing power of positive reactions, paving the way with support and care.
My name is Kayla, and I Start by Believing because support in your most vulnerable moments can change your life. – Kayla Cash When we stand together, we can make a difference. We are strong and we can be victorious! – Cresta Starr Anderson I am a godly, beautiful Black woman. Believe our Black sisters. Protect Black women! – Veronica Y. Njeri-Imani I turned my fear into fortitude and my cautiousness into capability. – Guiliana Cozzo Failure is not an option. Yes, you can! – Johnnetta McSwain Being believed gave me the power to transform from a victim into a survivor. – Kimberly Corban Every 73 seconds, someone is sexually assaulted in the United States and 5 years ago, I was one of those people. – Hollis Brown He believed me and let me take a break from fighting. – Chelsea Young All throughout my childhood and into adulthood people told me I was brave. I never saw it that way. I was just telling my truth. – Kelly Wallace Anther important part of the #metoo movement is “me.” Me being a victim does not define my intelligence, my relationships, my dreams, my laughter, my love, my ambitions, or my successes… I am still me. – Dr. Danielle Moore I am thankful for the sleepless nights and the time put into figuring out my case and ensuring justice was served. – Kerrian Beasley I share my story ‒ I hope I’m offering what I myself needed, someone to hear and say “I believe you.” – Elizabeth Johnson You took away my worth, my privacy, my energy, my time, my safety, my intimacy, my confidence, and my own voice… until now… you will hear me. – Christine Depre I am more than a statistic. – Brittany Boitnott Using the power of my voice again, after having it taken away, is the strength I strive to have every day. – Emma Mannion Belief is the first step towards healing and empowerment. – Kara Chamberlain There is always help and people, advocates, law enforcement and others that will believe you and offer you support. You are never alone. – Stephanie Schulte Love hard, live fearlessly, and be kind always. – Nicole Raab As scandals end, promises are made. As a Sister Survivor I know that there is more work to be done. – Angelika Martinez-McGhee With the right support systems in place, it makes it easier for us to move from victims to survivors to thrivers. – Mandi Howell You never know who you might be saving by believing somebody when they tell you they’ve been raped. – Taylor Hirth Our experiences with assault, no matter how different, are all valid and deserving of support and justice. – Beth Flory If you asked me how I’m doing now I would tell you that I’m no longer just surviving… I’m thriving. – Kat Duesterhaus Warriors are not born, they are made. – Amanda Culpepper Just like shattered glass, I was able to pick up the pieces of my life. One day at a time. – Cathy Almonte I grew tired of being ashamed of crimes I did not commit, and I am determined to be a voice for those who have not found theirs yet! – Rena Romano surTHRIVER® This is my passion. This is my mission. Use confidence, patience, and truth to tell my story of surviving abuse, and celebrate what came after ‒ even when it’s really hard. All I need is to impact one person, and Start by Believing. – Caroline Hammond My first step was to believe in myself, and then to tell someone my truth. Only after that could healing begin. – Wendy Jensen Every time I get back up after being knocked down, I am stronger. Every. Single. Time. – Tizz O’Toole When a victim is believed, she begins to gain agency over her life as she moves from her vulnerability to her strength to being a survivor. – Tracy Rector Someone out there believes you, I believe you. – Dyanie Bermeo Believing in yourself is the first step towards a life of freedom that is defined through truth rather than silence. – Dustin Dakota No matter how dark it may seem, you are not alone and there is light. You are stronger than you think you are, and you have the power to find it. – Rachel Sines ”I’ve found peace learning that healing is an ongoing journey of many layers.” – Nicole Stephens