Fall is often a time of exciting new beginnings; students are returning to school, some may be heading to college campuses for the first time, and many of us look forward to new opportunities to spend time with friends and family as holidays approach. Fall 2020 looks a lot different than in previous years as we’ve settled into a routine marked by social distance and public health precautions.
Despite all these changes, MCASA hasn’t stopped working to end sexual violence and support survivors. We have been busy ensuring that we continue to offer quality training, technical assistance, and legal services for survivors, regardless of whether we’re together in one space or at a distance. We started off September with our annual Call to Action, where we emphasized the dangers of the new Title IX regulations and highlighted the voices of student advocates and survivors of sexual violence through music, art, and stories. We were honored to provide them a platform to speak out about sexual violence and inspired by their honesty and bravery.
In this issue of Frontline, we are sharing some of the ways we will continue to serve Maryland in the coming months. First, in our College Consortium article, we provide details about our upcoming Virtual Campus Training series, available for campus staff, faculty, and administration across the state. In our Safety Sync column, we introduce our new social media campaign, made in partnership with For All Seasons, that raises awareness of the online exploitation of youth. We are also thrilled to spotlight another of the fantastic Rape Crisis and Recovery Centers in Maryland; this quarter, we had the opportunity to learn more about the work Garrett County’s Dove Center is doing.
Even as we move forward with our services, we continue to live through remarkably difficult times. Challenges such as the ongoing stress and trauma of a prolonged pandemic and the continued harm inflicted on black communities may pose a unique risk to survivors. In this edition, we are spotlighting the interconnections of “Racial Justice and Sexual Violence Prevention and Response”.
In our Prevention Corner, we have pivoted to focus on the urgent need to prevent the ongoing harm, trauma, and mental health burdens that survivors of sexual violence experience. In “Daisy Coleman and our Responsibility to Victims,” we grieve the loss of Daisy Coleman, featured in the Netflix documentary Audrie and Daisy, and call for increased societal accountability for long-term prevention (Content warning: this article discusses sexual assault and suicide).
We need your support to continuing fighting to end sexual violence in unprecedented times.
Lisae Jordan, Esq.
Executive Director & Counsel
Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault