Program Spotlight: Victim Assistance & Sexual Assault Program (VASAP)

Jan 31st, 2019

1.  What is your name, title, and how long have you been with your organization?

My name is Nadja S.P. Cabello and I started working as a therapist for Health and Human Services in Montgomery County back in 1984. I have had various positions and have been the Manager for the Victim Assistance and Sexual Assault Program since 1991.

2.  Why are you a member of MCASA?

MCASA has provided unequal and superb support to all Maryland Rape Crisis centers, including being the voice for victims of sexual assault needs in Annapolis and at the State and Federal level.

3.  Tell us about your organization’s current prevention activities:

The Victim Assistance and Sexual Assault Program utilizes the State’s prevention funding in two ways:  We have a community educator on sexual violence that targets schools in Montgomery County, especially the 10th grade health curriculum on rape/sexual assaults and through a contract with Catalpha, Inc. we target mass media outreach and education.  This year we are funding a Ride-On poster education campaign entitled STEP UP! STOP SEXUAL VIOLENCE!  In both English and Spanish with messaging targeting young men.  The clinical and Victim Advocate staff augment as time permits other prevention efforts.

4.  What are some recent events you would like to tell us about? Any upcoming events?

In 2017 we celebrated our 40th anniversary of existence serving victims of rape and sexual assault in Montgomery County.  Every April we recognize our wonderful volunteers with a special Volunteer Recognition Ceremony.

5.   One of MCASA’s top priorities is to advocate for additional funding for rape crisis centers. In 2017, the General Assembly passed the Sexual Assault Victims Resources Act, which provided dedicated and increased funds for rape crisis centers beginning last July. What does VASAP hope to do with this funding?

We are extremely grateful for Lisae Jordan’s efforts in securing extra funding to Rape Crisis programs through the Sexual Assault Victims Resources Act!  This dedicated extra funding is being utilized in the following ways: We are hiring a clinical therapist contractor to provide services to a very under-served victim population:  disabled sexual assault victims;  this extra funding is paying for 19 extra hours per week for two part-time victim advocates and we will be hosting a specialized and advanced clinical training for VASAP and other Trauma Services therapists.

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