LACASA Center is pleased to have been awarded a $5000 community service grant from CSX Corporation, one of the nation’s leading rail-based transportation companies.

LACASA, an independent non-profit based in Howell, empowers victims and survivors of sexual assault as well as advocates for systems change through its Sexual Assault Response Team (SART). The grant funds will be used to help SART launch a campaign to bring greater community awareness to sexual assault by changing the way society responds to victims. The program, called “Start by Believing,” is a global initiative founded by End Violence Against Women International (EVAWI) in 2011, and promotes a culture of support and empathy by encouraging individuals to believe and support victims when they come forward with their stories.

“A cultural shift begins with individual actions,” says Sherry Boroto, LACASA Sexual Assault Response Team Manager. “When we start by believing, we lay the groundwork for a society that not only trusts and supports victims but actively works to prevent sexual assault.”

SART partners with law enforcement, the Livingston County Prosecutor’s Office, courts, medical professionals, and other human service agencies to promote victim safety and abuser accountability. The campaign, which will be unveiled later this year, will take a three-pronged approach, including building a supportive community for victims who disclose assault, improving responses from the professionals who deal with victims, and dispelling harmful myths about sexual assault in schools, workplaces, and community organizations.

“We’re so thankful to CSX for the opportunity to further our outreach and spread this message on a wider scale,” Boroto said.

The campaign will include videos, social media messaging, and other multimedia elements.

For more information about LACASA’s programs for victims and survivors of sexual assault, visit

About CSX: CSX, based in Jacksonville, Florida, is a premier transportation company. It provides rail, intermodal and rail-to-truck transload services and solutions to customers across a broad array of markets, including energy, industrial, construction, agricultural, and consumer products. For nearly 200 years, CSX has played a critical role in the nation’s economic expansion and industrial development. Its network connects every major metropolitan area in the eastern United States, where nearly two-thirds of the nation’s population resides. It also links more than 240 short-line railroads and more than 70 ocean, river and lake ports with major population centers and farming towns alike.