Breaking News
More () »

Knoxville Breaking News, Weather, Traffic, Sports | WBIR.com

Scott Co. Sheriff's Office participating in international "Start by Believing" campaign

The Scott Co. Sheriff's Office said that they are supporting victims, pledging to start by believing them when they say they're a victim of sexual assault.

SCOTT COUNTY, Tenn. — Many sexual assaults are not reported. According to officials, as few as one in five victims report assaults for a variety of reasons.

Some people said they were worried about how people and authorities would respond to a report of sexual assault. Others said they were worried that authorities simply would not believe them. So, the Scott County Sheriff's Office said they standing by victims and survivors.

They are participating in an international "Start By Believing" campaign. The campaign is meant to advocate for victims and survivors of sexual assault by ensuring they will be believed if they come forward to report the crime.

Many officers and workers also pledged to support victims by believing in them, posting videos of them taking the pledge on social media.

"Hi, my name is sheriff Ronnie Phillips and when someone tells me they were raped or sexually assaulted, I pledge to start by believing," said one member of the sheriff's office.

The Scott County Sheriff's Office is also standing with the Scott County Family Justice Center and the Scott Appalachian Industries.

Officers pledged to stand by victims on their social media page, and many mental health professionals also pledged to support victims by wearing teal.