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'Start by Believing Day' begins Sexual Assault Awareness Month

There are resources in Colorado for victims and survivors of sexual assault.

DENVER — The Denver Police Department (DPD), the Denver District Attorney’s Office, Sexual Assault Interagency Council, Denver Health and Hospitals, and The Blue Bench will use the month of April to highlight the importance of believing survivors of sexual assault.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, which provides an opportunity to bring awareness to the dangers of sexual assault and the resources and support available for survivors.

The first Wednesday of April is also designated as “Start by Believing Day," which teaches people to believe victims of sexual assault as they would believe victims of any other crime.

DPD encourages residents to take a pledge to Start by Believing victims of sexual assault by visiting denvergov.org/startbybelieving and using #Denver in the form when taking the pledge. The pledge is open to all from April 5 to April 11.

> Above video: DPD discusses Sexual Assault Awareness Month in 2018.

Resources for sexual assault victims, survivors, information seekers:

In addition to taking the pledge, residents can learn how best to respond when a loved one tells them they were sexually assaulted since often, the first person who a victim of sexual assault turns to is a friend or loved one.

DPD said the reaction the victim receives is critical to how they move forward in their healing process. If they are met with belief, they may be more likely to pursue assistance from a victims’ advocacy center, such as The Blue Bench, and/or report it to law enforcement.

This April, Empower Field at Mile High, Ball Arena and the Denver City and County Building will help "shine a light" on the importance of starting by believing by illuminating their buildings in teal.

This is the seventh year DPD has participated in this educational campaign.

RELATED: Domestic violence resources for Colorado residents

RELATED: Dispelling myths about domestic violence

RELATED: Where victims of sexual abuse in Colorado can get help

Credit: Denver Police Department
Denver City and County Building illuminated in teal for Sexual Assault Awareness Month/Start by Believing Day.

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