Elizabeth Smart Foundation and Malouf Foundation partner for ‘We Believe You’ campaign

The Elizabeth Smart Foundation (ESF) and the Malouf Foundation™ are partnering on the We Believe You campaign in the month of November. Launched in 2020 by ESF, the campaign aims to recognize the positive impact individuals can have on survivors of sexual violence simply by believing their stories.

The campaign was created in response to the many survivors and victims who reach out to ESF and to Elizabeth herself. Typically, these survivors choose to share their stories with a public figure and organization that is educating about sexual violence because they “don’t know where else to turn,” “nobody will help me” and “nobody will believe me.” As people across the country participate in the campaign, avenues will be opened in every friendship circle, family, neighborhood and community where victims can turn for help.

Smart said, “As I’ve met with survivors across the world, one thing that has stood out to me is the impact that our response to disclosures of abuse can have. When survivors are met with love and belief in place of questions, doubt, and dismissal, it sets them on a positive trajectory toward healing.”

There are many ways for individuals to get involved in the campaign. The ESF team has put together a pledge that shows belief and support for survivors of sexual violence: “I pledge to stand with victims of sexual violence. I love you, I support you, and I believe you.” Individuals are encouraged to share the pledge or campaign information on social media with the hashtag #webelieveyou and to tag the @elizabethsmartfoundation, showing other social media users an ally in their network.

Donations to the We Believe You fund during the campaign will include a month of free access to Smart Defense+™. The Smart Defense™ training program was developed to give women and girls skills to protect themselves against assault using techniques from Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai and Krav Maga, and the online version was developed to connect with women and girls around the country. One hundred percent of money donated to the We Believe You fund goes to scholarships for the Smart Defense™ training program.

Malouf Foundation™ Board Chair Kacie Malouf said, “We are thrilled to partner with the Elizabeth Smart Foundation to bring this campaign to our audiences. The more people understand how their attitudes, words and actions can influence someone’s life, the more we can use these things to uplift rather than shut down.”

Smart wants everyone to know that they can make a difference. “According to RAINN, an American is sexually assaulted every 68 seconds. One thing every person can do is listen to, support and be a safe space for victims in their lives. The first words you say should be ‘I believe you.’”

To learn more about the We Believe You campaign, or to take the pledge, visit elizabethsmartfoundation.org/we-believe-you. To learn more about Smart Defense, watch this video. Media interviews with the Elizabeth Smart Foundation and the Malouf Foundation are available upon request.

If you or a loved one has been affected by sexual violence, the National Sexual Assault Hotline, operated by RAINN, is available at 800.656.HOPE or via live chat at https://www.rainn.org/. Communication is available 24/7, confidential and free of charge.

About the Elizabeth Smart Foundation

The ESF was founded in 2011 by kidnapping survivor Elizabeth Smart. Smart was abducted in 2002, after which she endured nine grueling months of daily sexual assault and abuse by her captors. The mission of the Elizabeth Smart Foundation is to bring hope and end the victimization and exploitation of sexual assault through prevention, recovery, and advocacy. For more information or to make a donation, visit elizabethsmartfoundation.org.

About Malouf Foundation

Formalized in 2016 and operating out of Logan, Utah, the Malouf Foundation™ is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to confronting child sexual exploitation, specifically sex trafficking and online abuse. The Foundation fulfills its mission by providing education through OnWatch™, promoting healing through Rooms Restored™ and Trafficking Restorative Care Centers, and ensuring justice for survivors through children’s advocacy centers. With the support of Malouf™ and its charity network, the Malouf Foundation™ gives 100 percent of its resources to the people it serves. A significant portion of every Malouf™ purchase supports survivors of sexual exploitation through the Malouf Foundation™. For more information or to make a donation, visit malouffoundation.org.