Sunday, April 27, 2008

Report IT Statement

Statement for Report It Rally
From Angela Rose
Founder and Executive Director of PAVE: Promoting Awareness, Victim Empowerment

Thank you everyone for coming out today and standing in solidarity with concerned citizens all across this country and abroad. From New York to California to Canada, we are united today in this Report It Rally inspired by author/film-maker Angela Shelton. After surveying women in America in her book Finding Angela Shelton, she discovered that 70% of the women she interviewed had been victims of sexual or domestic violence and none of them had reported it, including herself. For the first time ever, we are bringing together victims in a show of strength, unity and voice to demand an end to sexual violence and improvements in the legal process to stop the systematic re-victimization that discourages reporting.

Sexual assault is the most underreported crime in the world. All too often victims do not report the crime to authorities for fear of not being believed, mistrust of the legal system, because they blame themselves for the crime or fear of retaliation. It’s time to address why this happens to sexual violence victims, while victims of other crimes, like robbery, don’t hesitate to seek justice. Victims of sexual violence deserve the equal protection of our laws. They deserve to be heard and validated. The Report IT Campaign is a first of its kind effort on behalf of all victims -- an initiative designed to give hope to all victims that we can end the silence surrounding sexual violence. Our loud, unified voice today will be the first step in a multi-year effort to inspire much needed reforms and better access to justice for all victims.

The report it campaign also features an anonymous online reporting system at, which is gathering information and statistics on the incidence of sex crimes and will continue to gather data throughout 2008.

Allow me to share with you our Report IT 5 Step Action Plan:

1. We want you to spread the word - talk to your friends and family about the Report IT Campaign and encourage them to spread the word. Help to educate others about this important fight. Don’t stop talking about this campaign because today is only the beginning. Over the course of 2008 we will continue gathering data through our online Report IT form. We will re-convene on this same date next year - and then we will take our data and our voices to Washington DC in 2010.
2. We are today distributing sample "report cards" which we encourage you to send to every police department and district attorney's office in this state. These report cards seek mandatory and automatic disclosure of statistical information so that we can better assess where the problems lie. To fight the systematic re-victimization of victims, we need to know how many reports of sexual violence are made each year, how many reports are rejected for prosecution, how many cases go forward and what are the results. How many cases end in conviction, how many end in acquittal and how many are plea bargained down to menial charges. Prosecutors and police have to join us in this battle by releasing the truth about how the system fails victims of sex crimes.
3. Starting today we are committed to working together - to help organize families, advocates and concerned citizens who care about safe communities and fairness in our justice system. Working together we can inspire others to contribute their time, money and resources to help advocacy groups make this campaign a success. Groups such as PAVE: Promoting Awareness, Victim Empowerment, already exist in several states. Consider helping PAVE in this mission - or start a PAVE chapter in your community.
4. Sign up for our email alerts so that you can receive updated information and be ready to take action when necessary so that we can keep the momentum going. We are currently working on a training DVD with a chief of police that will soon be available across the county. Other training programs are planned. Stay connected so that all the latest program information will help you make this campaign a success in your community.
5. Finally -- Save the date for April 29, 2009, Angela Shelton day, when we will take to the streets again for the second year of this groundbreaking campaign.

The silencing of sexual assault victims has gone on for too long and the time has come to take a stand. Re-victimizing victims will not be tolerated. Thank you for coming out -- thank you for your time and your commitment to this important cause. It is up to us to be the voice for all who have been silenced by violence.

§ Together we will break the silence of sexual violence!
§ Together we will speak in one voice for all victims!
§ Together we can make our communities safe so that no person fears being victimized!
§ Together we will call for an end to the injustices!