NSVRC Statement: Victims in the Cosby Case Should be Supported, Believed

HARRISBURG, Pa., Feb. 6, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The National Sexual Violence Resource Center is alarmed by recent revelations that Bill Cosby is seeking to discredit victims of rape. It takes an incredible amount of courage for a rape survivor to come forward. The level of attention around high-profile cases makes it even more daunting to speak out, as victims fear the negative impact of media scrutiny and retaliation from the public or the accused.

In some cases, victims may report what happened right away. In other cases, victims will remain silent for weeks, months or even years before discussing the assault. A delay in the reporting of a sexual assault has no bearing on the veracity of the allegations. In fact, false reporting is extremely rare. Furthermore, each survivor reacts to sexual violence in her or his unique way.

Recovery is an ongoing and gradual process. It is critical for victims to be believed and to know that support and services are available. Controversies like this should not deter victims from coming forward and reporting sexual assault.

The NSVRC encourages victims of sexual violence to raise their voices so that they can receive the support they deserve. We urge others to stand with victims in intervening in responsible ways if and when they witness unusual behaviors that might foreshadow sexual violence.

The National Sexual Violence Resource Center provides a variety of resources to rape crisis centers across the country to prevent and respond to sexual violence. The NSVRC opened in July 2000 as a national information and resource hub relating to all aspects of sexual violence. Founded by the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape, the oldest and one of the largest state sexual assault coalitions, the NSVRC is funded through a cooperative agreement from the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention's Division of Violence Prevention. For more information, visit www.nsvrc.org. For help and services across the U.S., access NSVRC's online directory at http://tinyurl.com/USdirectory.


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