Frontline features a different rape crisis and recovery center in Maryland each quarter. We ask them five questions in honor of the 1 in 5 women who are survivors of rape in their lifetime.
The following questions were answered by Sarah Kaiser, the Executive Director of the Family Crisis Resource Center in Allegany County.
What is your name and title and how long have you worked with your agency?
Sarah Kaiser, Executive Director
I have worked with FCRC since 1999. I was hired as a counselor and was promoted to Executive Director in 2012.
Tell us about your Rape Crisis Program and the issues it tackles.
FCRC’s Rape Crisis Program provides a 24 hour hotline, crisis intervention, individual and group counseling, advocacy for victims and survivors of rape, sexual assault, sexual abuse, and incest, as well as family and friends of the victim. FCRC provides an advocate for sexual assault victims in the local emergency room. Advocates are also available to assist with other local community systems, such as schools or law enforcement. FCRC engages in community education and prevention efforts throughout year. Most recently, FCRC has focused on partnering with men in our efforts and providing support to local college campuses.
Why are you a member of MCASA?
The benefits of MCASA membership are immense. MCASA keeps rape crisis agencies up to date on issues that impact our clients, including innovative interventions and legislative issues. MCASA has also served as a helpful sounding board when we tackle difficult scenarios.
Have you had any recent events or actions that you'd like to tell us about?
This year, for Father's Day, FCRC honored the men in our community who signed onto our Father’s Day pledge to say NO MORE to domestic and sexual violence: We Allegany County men from all walks of life publicly pledge our support to do what we can to rid our community of domestic violence and sexual assault. In so doing, we honor the legacy of men as loving husbands and partners, proud fathers, and brothers, and uncles, and mentors… men who truly care about the people they love.
The pledge and names were put in a half page ad in our local newspaper.
If your program received $100,000 in new funds today, what would you do with it?
The quick answer is to simply sustain our programs for victims. Every year we struggle simple maintain the current efforts. However, if sustainability wasn’t an issue, $100,000 would supply an additional counselor for our clients and implement human trafficking intervention efforts in our area.
What sexual assault prevention work does your program do?
Family Crisis Resource Center Inc. recognizes the importance of primary prevention efforts in the fight against sexual assault and abuse. Community Educators welcome the opportunity to speak with local high school and university audiences where, along with information on myths and statistics, students are informed of the true meaning of consent, bystander intervention techniques and how they can use their voices to make a difference. Recently, FCRC advocates met with members of faculty and staff at Frostburg State University to review incidents of sexual assault and prevention and education efforts during the past academic year and plan for the upcoming year. During the month of June, FCRC staff and members of the Board of Directors gathered signatures from men within the community supporting the Father’s Day Pledge. This initiative allowed local men to add their names to the pledge stating that they would publicly pledge their support to do all that they can to rid our community of domestic violence and sexual assault. The pledge, along with the names, was placed in a half-page ad in the local newspaper. This prevention effort encourages men to use their voice and their actions to put a stop to this violence in the community while it also honors the legacy of men as loving husbands and partners, proud fathers and brothers, uncles, and mentors.