Tomorrow, April 3, 2019, Mayor Biskupski will sign a proclamation declaring Salt Lake City a Start by Believing City and encourage local governments and private business organizations around the state to endorse the “Start by Believing” Campaign.
“Start by Believing” is a public awareness program developed by End Violence Against Women International designed to address the issue of many victims not receiving the support they need when they choose to report having been a victim of sexual assault.
The “Start by Believing” Campaign maintains that when victims of sexual assault are believed and supported, they will heal more quickly and completely, improving the health and safety of the people of Salt Lake City and Utah.
In the proclamation, Mayor Biskupski cites the Utah Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice Rape in 2007 study, which found that 1 in 3 Utah women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime, which is a higher rate than the national average for sexual assault crimes. The same study found that the rate of sexual assaults being reported, 12% in Utah, is significantly lower than the national average.
Biskupski also includes research by the Utah Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice in 2007, and a United States Senate Subcommittee 2010 hearing on crime and drugs, that indicated that one of the most common reasons victims of sexual assault do not report the crime is fear of not being believed and being blamed for the attack, in spite of the fact that national research has shown that false reports of sexual assault are rare, and no more common than false reports of other types of crime.
As a Start by Believing City, Mayor Biskupki encourages the people and organizations of Salt Lake City to provide support to survivors of rape and sexual assault.
There will be a panel discussion at the S.J. Quinney College of Law after the press conference. Below is the link: http://law.utah.edu/event/wlc-spring-panel/
Who: Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskuspki
Representative Angela Romero
Representative Karianne Lisonbee
Paul Cassell, University Distinguished Professor of Law at the S.J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah
Alexandra Merritt, Victim Advocate
Heidi Nestel, Director of the Utah Crime Victims Legal Clinic
What: Mayor Biskupski declares Salt Lake City a Start by Believing City
When: 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, April 3, 2019
Where: 3rd Floor of the City and County Building