New Alberta ‘I Believe You’ campaign to help support sex assault victims

A public awareness campaign is underway aimed at educating people about how to respond to and comfort victims of sexual assault.

CALGARY — A public awareness campaign is underway aimed at educating people about how to respond to and comfort victims of sexual assault.

The Association of Alberta Sexual Assault Services is hoping the “I Believe You” campaign will make victims more comfortable about coming forward to tell their story.

Several videos have been produced and posted to YouTube with the idea that people will share and watch them on social media.

Numbers for the campaign suggest 97 per cent of sexual assaults go unreported.

They also indicate only 15 per cent of Albertans would be confident enough to know what to say if a sexual assault victim came to them looking for help.

The campaign is being funded by the provincial government and is being supported by 23 post-secondary institutions.

“It focuses on the responders and lets them know that in a very simple way they can make a positive difference in somebody’s life,” Debra Tomlinson, CEO of the sexual assault association, said Monday.

“When survivors receive a positive response, they’re more likely to get help, and seek justice, and that’s what we’re looking for.”

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