Orange County, New York is a rural county, about two hours north of New York City. It is home to 32 law enforcement agencies, 6 major hospitals, 3 SANE programs and the West Point Military Academy.
When COVID struck, the Orange County, New York Sexual Assault Response Team went virtual. This new setting allowed more team members to participate, and the Mental Health Association in Orange County, Inc. (MHA) realized it was the perfect time to introduce Start by Believing. The team voted unanimously to adopt the campaign, and just like that, a new initiative was born.
The support for Start by Believing is extensive – The District Attorney’s Office, numerous law enforcement agencies, and all 3 hospitals quickly signed on for training, which began in February 2021 and will continue throughout the year. During each training, participants are asked to make the pledge to Start by Believing.