Frontline Spring 2024 Issue

May 10th, 2024

This spring at MCASA has been very busy as we worked to advocate for survivors during the 2024 Maryland Legislative Session. Thank you again to everyone who called, emailed, testified, and reached out to your elected officials this session. One of our major successes this session was the passage of the Consent Bill (HB496/SB758), which created a statutory definition of consent and repealed the requirement that the state prove “force or threat of force” in 2nd degree rape cases. MCASA was honored to help amplify the voices of survivors as they testified on the shortcomings of the current law and the need for access to justice. Our full 2024 Legislative Report is available here.

More big news: the U.S. Department of Education finally released new Title IX regulations on April 19th. Our last Virtual Campus Training session of the academic year provided a high-level overview of these changes and discussed the timeframe for implementation of the new regulations. The recording of the session is available here.

April was Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), an annual reminder of the importance of our collective work to prevent and respond to sexual violence. MCASA participated in more than a dozen community events across the state, sharing the resources available to survivors and service providers through the Sexual Assault Legal Institute and Maryland’s 17 Rape Crisis and Recovery Centers. We also launched our ‘We Believe You’ transit ad campaign in April. Bus shelter ads and interior posters were displayed throughout the state to remind survivors that we believe them, they are not alone, and support is available. We further reflect on our campaign and this year’s SAAM theme, Building Connected Communities, in the Prevention Corner article.

In this month’s edition of Frontline, we also highlight the growing use of artificial intelligence (AI) to create sexually explicit deepfake images and videos in our Survivor Safety column. In addition, we examine victim blaming on college campuses and the importance of changing campus social and cultural norms in our College Consortium column. Next, we discuss sexual violence prevalence in immigrant communities and the importance of culturally-specific prevention and response. Finally, we are excited to highlight the incredible work of Life Crisis Center in this edition’s Program Spotlight.

We invite you to join us in our efforts to end sexual violence. Becoming a member is an excellent way to support survivors in Maryland and support our legislative efforts. You can also make a donation and help us serve Maryland survivors.

Stay strong,

Lisae Jordan, Esq. 
Executive Director & Counsel 
Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault

Articles in this Issue

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