Sexual violence does not stop because of a virus. As Maryland and the United States take precautions for the health and well-being of our communities, MCASA and the SALI are here for you and will continue to provide services to our clients, Rape Crisis Centers, SARTs, and other professionals. Our staff is teleworking, but we are open full time to support you.
During this time survivors of sexual violence may be experiencing increased dangers and isolation. Now more than ever, it is important to share accurate information and resources with our community to make sure that survivors, friends & family, and service providers have the tools they need to respond in ways that are safe and supportive.
Even with Covid-19 restrictions in place, services for sexual assault survivors in Maryland are available during the COVID-19 crisis. Local rape crisis centers, SALI, and MCASA are available to provide direct services. Visit our website at www.mcasa.org to learn more and access resources.
Though Maryland’s Legislative Session came to an abrupt end on March 18th, several bills were enacted that will help sexual assault survivors. Thank you to everyone who called, emailed, testified and advocated to improved Maryland laws and policies to end sexual violence and support survivors. You are appreciated. Legislative leaders in the efforts to improve justice for survivors included Delegate Sandy Bartlett, Senator Susan Lee, Delegate Charlotte Crutchfield, Senator Shelly Hettleman, Delegate Vanessa Atterbeary, and Senator Guy Guzzone. Our final legislative report includes details about what passed and failed and some of the other legislators working to support survivors.
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), a time to lift up and promote sexual violence prevention efforts and an opportunity to generate awareness about sexual violence. With Maryland under a Stay-at-Home order, we know that many of you are home with your children and loved ones. MCASA is hosting an Online SAAM page at https://mcasa.org/prevention/sexual-assault-awareness-month with resources and opportunities for teaching consent communication to kids and teens.
In this issue’s Prevention Corner, we examine the prevalence of sexual violence in the D.C. area Metro and explain how bystanders can help make the Metro a safer space for vulnerable individuals. April is not only SAAM, but also National Child Abuse Prevention month; check out our Safety Sync column distinguishing the four main differences between non-contact child predators and contact child predators. In the College Consortium feature, our Schools and Policy Attorney reviews Title IX Attorney Training with the MD Higher Education Commission. Additionally, we highlight an article examining the intersectional challenges faced by bisexual, female-identifying survivors.
This SAAM, consider supporting survivors through purchasing a MCASA membership. Becoming a member is an excellent way to show your support of survivors in Maryland and help us continue to make positive legislative impacts. Donations can also be made by clicking here- donations are used to directly serve Maryland survivors. Wishing you good health and peace!
Lisae Jordan, Esq.
Executive Director & Counsel
Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault