PORT JERVIS – Rape victims often suffer in silence, but law enforcement officials and advocates for those victimized by these crimes say they don’t have to.
There was a gathering on Friday afternoon outside of Port Jervis City Hall urging friends of those victimized by rape to “Start By Believing,” an information campaign designed to promote the collaboration of victims and their friends and families to stem the emotional trauma of these crimes and possibly those crimes being repeated.
“The impact of believing survivors is limitless,” said Kristen Lippolis, a crisis services manager for the Mental Health Association of Orange County.
It’s estimated that of 1,000 rapes, that about 23 percent are reported. Of those 1,000 rapes, it’s estimated about 46 ever lead to an arrest and that less than five resulting with the perpetrator ever doing jail time.
The victim’s silence and those who know of the crime then allow a rapist to strike again and victimize others.
“The campaign,” said William Worden, Port Jervis’ police chief, “is to bring awareness to help end the cycle of silence.”