04/05/2017 01:52 EDT | Updated 04/05/2017 02:00 EDT

Halifax Police Officers Take Pledge To Believe Sexual Assault Victims

Halifax police have taken a pledge promising sexual assault complainants that investigators will "start by believing,'' and provide support and a safe environment.

In a statement today, the force says it is "taking the #startbybelieving pledge,'' and encouraged others to do the same.

The social media initiative encourages people to sign a pledge stating that when someone reveals that they have been raped or sexually assaulted, they "pledge to start by believing.''

The force says officers recognize that sexual assault victims may not report an attack out of fear they won't be believed or will be made to feel ashamed.

Halifax's pledge comes after multiple Canadian police forces reopened some cases for review in the wake of Globe and Mail coverage of the number of sexual assault cases that were labelled unfounded.

The reports concluded that police across Canada close about one in five sex-assault cases as unfounded.

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