Calgary

Sexual assault awareness campaign kicks off across Alberta

A new province-wide sexual assault public awareness campaign was launched on Monday.

Only 1 in 10 victims report incidents to police

A new province-wide sexual assault public awareness campaign was launched on Monday.

Called 'I Believe You,' the campaign is aimed at educating the public about how to better respond to survivors of sexual assault.

The Association of Alberta Sexual Assault Services wants people to remember those three words when a survivor comes forward.

"People are afraid of the issue and they don't know how to respond, so creating that kind of confidence and that kind of openness will only benefit people who have been assaulted and people who are responding," said Danielle Aubry with Calgary Communities Against sexual abuse during the campaign kickoff.

According to the Association of Alberta Sexual Assault Services, only 1 in 10 victims report incidents to police, often because they feel they won't get support.

Gaye Warthe, with the faculty of social work at Mount Royal University, says having the tools to properly respond makes a big difference.

"It doesn't mean that they'll go and disclose or access help immediately but they'll start to think differently about how other people might respond, because the first person I told, said 'I believe you.'"

Twenty-three post-secondary institutions across Alberta  will promote the I Believe You campaign on campuses this fall.     

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