WRAP wants people to ‘Start by Believing’ sexual assault survivors

DYERSBURG, Tenn. — Libraries are a place to gain knowledge on any subject, and Monday the subject was sexual assault awareness.

“It’s important to raise awareness because it is happening in our communities, and we want to make sure when it happens to someone that it makes them feel safe and comfortable to reach out for help and assistance,” Mara White with WRAP said.

WRAP is traveling to the 19 counties in West Tennessee they serve with their “Start by Believing” campaign. WRAP wants to make talking about sexual assault more comfortable for victims.

“We want to kind of shift those negative reactions into positive responses, into support and belief,” White said. “Letting survivors know that I’m here for you. I support you. I believe you. That’s the point of the ‘Start by Believing’ campaign.”

Dyersburg Mayor John Holden read a proclamation declaring April Sexual Assault Awareness Month. He and law enforcement officials then signed the pledge.

“Our primary concern is to help the victims, and then we can help prevent other things that occur because of violent relationships,” Mayor Holden said. “We just hope the community members will assist us and come forward if we need them.”

WRAP says they just have a few more counties to visit this week and then the proclamation will have been read in every county.

If you’d like to sign the pledge, visit www.startbybelieving.org and sign online or print a copy.

Categories: Local News, News