Maryland has moved into the summer months following a Spring of turmoil and change.
The end of May and June brought historic protests throughout the country and throughout the world in response to police violence against the Black community and our nation’s history of persistent racism and oppression. MCASA reaffirms its commitment to addressing systemic racism. We know that all forms of oppression are inextricably linked, that we cannot end sexual violence without ending racism, and that sexual violence is linked to other forms of violence. MCASA unites with other advocates working to change this permanently; in part, MCASA is proud to stand with The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and other anti-violence organizations to call for Congressional House leaders to take legislative action for the structural change necessary to protect our communities. Click here to read the full letter.
In this issue of Frontline, we have chosen to highlight the ways that racism intersects with preventing and responding to sexual violence. First, this issue’s Prevention Corner highlights how health inequities such as racism are directly linked to prevention of sexual violence at the groundwater. We are also featuring an article on Black women and the impact of racial loyalty on help-seeking behaviors for sexual assault.
Of course, the shutdowns and social distancing related to COVID-19 defined the Spring, as service providers across Maryland sprang into action to provide uninterrupted and quality support and services to survivors of sexual violence. The impact of social distancing measures will continue to impact our services throughout the year as we adjust to supporting survivors in a new environment. This issue’s “Safety Sync” highlights the increased risks of online exploitation for youth during social distancing. We are also focusing on how people with disabilities are at an increased risk for sexual violence due to the pandemic.
In the midst of the pandemic and sweeping protests against racism, the Department of Education finally released the new Title IX guidance intended for sexual assault investigations on campuses. Read more about these guidelines and their harmful impact on survivors here.
This issue, we are also highlighting For All Seasons, the rape crisis and recovery center for the Mid-Shore.
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Save the Date for our Call to Action: September 15th, 2020
Lisae Jordan, Esq.
Executive Director & Counsel
Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault
Due to a system failure at the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, 54 firearms were released in Maryland before background checks were properly completed. Employees from the Maryland State Police Licensing Division tracked down the firearm customers to review their applications and determined that, fortunately, no one prohibited had received a gun. Although Maryland has relatively strict gun laws, survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence, and the programs that serve them, should be aware that such system failures are possible.