Sexual violence forum encourages public to believe victims

Carlisle/West Shore

CARLISLE, Pa. (WHTM) – A forum encouraging the public to believe victims when they come forward to tell their stories of sexual violence was held Thursday night at the YWCA Carlisle.

The goal of the event was to realize the power of discussion and dialogue for victims of sexual violence. 

Experts from rape crisis centers and prevention organizations spoke about the need for society to believe victims and not instantly react with judgment. 

“What we’re really trying to do is have people come together and talk about this and kind of move away from that stigma where people don’t talk about it,” said Gabrielle Dietrich, a prevention education coordinator for the YWCA. “We really just want to create a space where this becomes a conversation, and it should be.”

The YWCA has a 24-hour hotline that is free and confidential for victims. Experts are on hand to talk about anything even if the topics are personal. The hotline number is 1-888-727-2877.

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