Program Spotlight: Rape Crisis Intervention Services of Carroll County

Nov 02nd, 2022

This quarter, we spoke to Dotty Dalphon, the CEO of Rape Crisis Intervention Services of Carroll County, to learn more about the services they provide. Visit their website here.

1.     What makes the Carroll County community you serve special?

One quality that makes our county special is the collaboration and support that RCIS receives from the community. The Carroll County Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) is a collaborative multi-disciplinary team of medical, victim assistance, law enforcement, and legal professionals that works to ensure a trauma-informed, victim-centered first response to all individuals affected by sexual violence in the Carroll County community. The SART has worked tirelessly to enhance strengths of practice, policy, procedures, and collaboration across all disciplines involved within the team. One way that our SART addresses sexual violence in our community is by conducting case reviews, where the team comes together and evaluates the information of various cases. It is important to note that the Carroll County SART is officially the first county within the entire state of Maryland that has cleared their backlog of untested sexual assault forensic exam kits. All untested kits in Carroll County have been reviewed by the SART and sent for testing at the state crime lab, bringing closure and healing to many survivors within the county. The qualities of collaboration, support, and dedication that the SART embodies are echoed throughout the county by our community members. Throughout the 44 years that RCIS has provided free services to Carroll County, countless community members have served our agency through volunteer work, monetary donations, clothing, and item drives, sharing our information and services, and by supporting the mission of RCIS.

2.     Tell us about RCIS current community prevention efforts.

RCIS is very active in its community prevention efforts for 2022.  We hired an Outreach Educator in June who has established an MOU with Carroll County Public Schools that allows us to present to Health 1 and Health 2 classes. We are talking with the CCPS Central Office in hopes of expanding to public middle schools before 2023.  Ongoing education is essential to our Outreach Educator, which includes participating in national, state, and local training, including those sponsored through MCASA.  RCIS is on campus at Carroll Community College and McDaniel College, providing education and information to students.  Our efforts in the community include participation in the Circle of Caring, community events such as the Hispanic Heritage and Community Resource Fair, “Pop-Ups” at community food pantries, Carroll County Chamber of Commerce Events, and professional workshops to local businesses and organizations.

3.     Why are you a member of MCASA?

Being a part of the MCASA network offers invaluable support to the RCIS team. In addition to the trainings and wide variety of resources for sexual assault centers offered by MCASA, sister organizations across the state meet regularly to share best practices and information that bolster our work with SA clients. 

4.     What called you to your work?

Over the last 44 years, RCIS of Carroll County has been dedicated to providing free counseling and support services to survivors and their loved ones who have been affected by sexual violence. Here at RCIS, our specially trained trauma-informed advocates believe and support ALL survivors through every step of their healing journey. It is our goal to provide survivors and their loved ones with all available options and resources while empowering them to find their voice and make decisions that are best for them and their situation. RCIS is committed to treating every survivor with the utmost care, dignity, respect, equality, and professional expertise.

5.     How has the pandemic affected RCIS and the survivors you serve?

The pandemic was difficult for everyone, especially survivors of sexual violence. Many survivors were unable or too scared to get the appropriate resources available to them. Through these unprecedented times, these challenges encouraged our agency to find new ways to connect with survivors in the community to ensure that those in need had readily available resources. RCIS was able to provide trauma-informed, victim-centered virtual walk-in crisis intervention, individualized therapy, and hospital accompaniments.

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