Each quarter, Frontline profiles one of Maryland’s 17 rape crisis and recovery centers. This quarter, we turn the spotlight on the Center For Abused Persons, a dual sexual assault-domestic violence program serving Charles County.
What is your name and title, and how long have you worked with your agency?
Annette Gilbert-Jackson, Executive Director. I’ve worked with the agency for 20+ years.
Tell us about your Rape Crisis Program and the issues it tackles.
Responding to survivors of sexual assault is an important part of our work at the Center for Abused Persons. We are a dual sexual assault-domestic violence program, serving Charles County. We provide courthouse outreach, dedicated crisis responders, and hospital accompaniment. This includes responding to cases involving adults and child victims of sexual assault and abuse. We offer individual and group counseling for survivors. We also were the first program in Maryland to start a Forensic Nurse Examiner Program in 1993.
Why are you a member of MCASA?
MCASA provides resources that make it easier for us to help victims. It also connects us with our policymakers in Annapolis, keeps us to date with changes in the laws, and advocates to support programs and survivors.
Have you had any recent events or actions that you'd like to tell us about?
We look forward to sponsoring our first annual walk for survivors in April to help draw attention to the needs of survivors during Sexual Assault Awareness Month. For information on how to participate, please check our website, centerforabusedpersonscharlescounty.org/wordpress.
Since we are a dual sexual assault-domestic violence program, for Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October, we held a Community Breakfast. Our guest speaker, Jordyn Cohen from the One Love Foundation, talked about the work their group is doing to try to get into high schools and colleges in Maryland.
What sexual assault prevention work does your program do?
We provide community education to local organizations about healthy relationships, identifying sexual assault and abuse, and consent. We have strong relationships with the colleges in our community and hope to do more work in our high schools and middle schools. We believe prevention programming for youth is critical to ending sexual violence.
If your program received $100,000 in new funds today, what would you do with it?
We would re-institute our 24 hour crisis hotline which was recently cut by the County. Like many sexual assault programs, we have faced budget cuts that led to staff reductions. We would love to fill these positions again and provide more services to survivors.
This article was featured in the Fall 2015 issue