Residents Encouraged to 'Start By Believing'
Area residents are being asked to Start by Believing. That's the title of a national campaign in April to raise public awareness about sexual assault.Last year in Forsyth County, there were 204 reported cases of sexual assault including rape, statutory rape and molestation. Down slightly from 2011. Family Services, Inc. is participating. According to DeWanna Hamlin, Coordinator of Prevention and Education,family, friends and co-workers are often the first people in whom survivors confide. So Hamlin recommends people can be supportive by being sensitive. “Listen and do not judge. It’s not about hearing the ins and outs of that experience, it’s about being a shoulder to cry on because that experience is like none other.”
Also Hamlin said the agency’s goal is to collect 1,000 pledges from people who will believe sexual assault survivors who share their experiences. Individuals can pledge at the Family Services website or at the agency’s office. Family Services serves residents in Forsyth, Stokes and Davie Counties.