Pelham Police join Start By Believing campaign
Published 12:07 pm Friday, April 8, 2016
By JESSA PEASE / Staff Writer
PELHAM— To coincide with Sexual Assault Awareness Month this April, the police agencies in Shelby County came together to join the national Start By Believing campaign to end sexual assault and domestic violence.
Police chiefs from each Shelby County agency were featured in a video that was recently launched through the help of the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office and SafeHouse of Shelby County.
When Palmer was contacted about participating, he said it was a no-brainer for him. He said the video was a great way to get the word out in Shelby County and beyond.
“All the agencies here in Shelby County start by believing and work hard to help our victims and bring those to justice, the perpetrators who would commit these, I call them, horrific crimes,” he said.
Even if the form of abuse is verbal, Palmer said it is still damaging. He also added that he doesn’t understand domestic violence, where someone claims to love a family member and then abuses them.
Palmer said domestic violence and abuse affects everyone in a family, including children. Often times, Palmer said the children who see abuse in their daily lives then repeat the cycle later.
“That’s how they learned by watching their dads and their parents,” Palmer said. “It’s a cycle that we’ve got to try and break. That’s the only way to do it. (That) and education.”
Start By Believing, to Palmer, means believing that they can put a stop to sexual assault and abuse. It starts with believing the person who comes forward and believing they can stop the problem.
Palmer said the department sees abuse come and go in cycles in Pelham, and cases are usually more frequent around the holidays. He said this issue affects every class of person from poverty to the richest.
This campaign video, Palmer said, is a way to get this issue out into the community, so that residents can get involved in the fight.
“The laws help, but the enforcement of those laws are not going to put an end to this,” Palmer said. “It’s going to have to come from help from everyone, the entire community.”
For more information on the national Start By Believing Campaign, visit Startbybelieving.org. To view Shelby County’s campaign video, visit Vimeo.com/161536697.