This week around the Brandon University campus students may have noticed new posters in the common areas that display #IBelieveYou on them. Starting in Alberta in 2013 this campaign is primarily promoted through social media and the hashtag #IBeliveYou. It covers all social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube in order to reach a broad audience, spark conversations, and educate as many people as possible. The goal of this campaign is to spread the message to victims of sexual assault that they will be believed and that support is available for them if they were to come forward. It also focuses on training bystanders to be that support for victims and show them that being believed is a big obstacle for most victims of sexual assault. This is due to the victims fear that they won’t be believed or taken seriously if they were to disclose their experience.
Launched this past week at BU by the Sexual Violence Education and Prevention Coordinator, Carla Navid, the campaign has been brought to BU in an attempt to educate the campus community. Navid hosted a few events on campus including the #IBelieveYou selfie booth in the courtyard on September 11th which promoted uploading a selfie with #IBelieveYou to show support and spread awareness through social media. She also organized two bystander training sessions on September 11th and 13th which focused on teaching students how to intervene and prevent sexual assault before it happens. For more information on ways to get involved visit the campaign website www.brandonu.ca/sexualviolence/ibelieveyou/.
Navid wants to educate students at Brandon University about the support for sexual assault survivors that is available and easily accessible right here on campus. She advocates for survivors that they should come forward in whatever way they feel comfortable. For support throughout the whole process Navid can be found in her office which is located at 227 inside the Health Studies Building.