For Immediate Release: April 5, 2016
Contact: Elizabeth Converse, Communications Director
Utah House Democratic Caucus
801-835-7087 | firstname.lastname@example.org
New Campaign Calls for Better Response to Survivors of Rape and Sexual Assault
Salt Lake City - Wednesday, April 6th, at 10 am, Representative Angela Romero will lead a press conference to highlight “Start By Believing Day”, a state holiday that recognizes sexual assault as a violent crime with devastating safety and health implications for every person in Utah. This year, Representative Romero was able to secure $600,000.00 in funding for these issues.
Who: Representative Angela Romero
Julie Valentine, BYU Assistant Teaching Professor
Alana Kindness, UCASA Executive Director
What: Start By Believing Day, Appropriations for Sexual Assault Issues
Where: Utah State Capitol Building, South Steps, 350 State St, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
When: Wednesday, April 6, 2016 at 10:00 a.m.
The Start By Believing campaign aims to raise awareness of the role that individuals can have in improving outcomes for sexual assault survivors, based on research showing that (1) When loved ones react negatively to a victim’s disclosure of sexual assault, it has a damaging effect on victims – over and above the traumatic impact of the sexual assault, (2) By improving our reactions, victims benefit both directly – and also indirectly, by increasing the likelihood that they will reach out for other sources of support, and (3) Improving our response can even help the criminal justice system to hold sexual assault perpetrators accountable for their crimes.
Speakers at the press event will include Julie Valentine, Assistant Teaching Professor at Brigham Young University College of Nursing, whose 2014 study revealed consistently low prosecution rates for rape cases in Salt Lake County. She has since worked with West Valley City Police Department to develop and evaluate new protocols for sexual assault investigations. Alana Kindness, Executive Director of the Utah Coalition Against Sexual Assault, will highlight the steps that survivors, advocates, educators and law enforcement have taken in communities throughout Utah to ensure that victims of rape and sexual assault receive the services needed to support healing and restore safety.