Arizona just became the very first Start by Believing State, in a proclamation read on the House floor of the State Legislature by Representative Karen Fann. The historic moment was captured on video.
This inspiring effort was led by Chief Jerald Monahan of the Prescott Police Department, working in close collaboration with Chief Steve Campbell of the El Mirage Police Department, Robin Barker, the Vice Mayor for the City of Apache Junction and several staff members at the Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence: Christa Steiner, Shannon Rich, Allie Bones, and Deana Monk.
After the proclamation was read, the Arizona Speaker of the House, Andy Tobin, noted that:
This is the first state to actually be declared a Start by Believing State, so thank you Chief, and thank you to your guests, [and] Representative Fann for being here.
We add our thanks to these dedicated professionals for leading the way to spread the message of Start by Believing. We share the goal of improving our personal and professional responses to victims who have the courage to step forward and say, "I was sexually assaulted." We owe it to survivors - not just in Arizona - but across the country and around the world, to Start by Believing.
Will your state be next? Let's all follow Arizona's lead and work to create a Start by Believing nation!