This summer is off to a turbulent and troubling start with national news impacting rights and legal protections for survivors. The overturning of Roe v. Wade on June 24th is detrimental for the rights of women, pregnant people, and survivors of sexual assault. 13 states with automatic ‘trigger’ laws have already severely restricted or outlawed abortion altogether. Abortion access is a crucial health care service for survivors that will now have limited or no access depending on their location. Although here in Maryland abortion protections are written into state law, pregnant people and survivors nationwide do not have this guarantee. Additionally, Maryland abortion providers are strained due to an influx of out of state patients who can no longer receive care in their home state. In our Survivor Safety column, we further address the incredibly negative and damaging effects of this ruling.
In better news, the Department of Education released new proposed regulations on the 50th Anniversary of Title IX on June 23rd. The draft regulations promise improved protections for college sexual assault survivors and protect the rights and inclusion of LGBTQ+ students on campuses nationwide. Public comment will be open until September 12th. After reviewing public comments the regulations will then be finalized by the Department of Education. Our College Consortium article expands on the harmful provisions of current Title IX regulations implemented in 2020 and the proposed improvements in the new regulations.
In this edition’s Prevention Corner, we also highlight our community level prevention strategy of creating protective environments on Maryland college and university campuses. In partnership with researchers at Johns Hopkins University, we are excited to launch our Environmental and Situational Strategies for Sexual Violence Prevention: A Practitioners’ Guide to Leveraging Evidence for Impact on College Campuses this August. Additionally, we raise awareness of sexual violence against people with disabilities and the need for inclusive and accessible services for survivors. We are also happy to highlight HopeWorks of Howard County, another one of Maryland’s amazing Rape Crisis Centers in our Program Spotlight.
In the face of challenges, we are reminded of the importance of our work to advocate for policy that supports survivors and works to end sexual violence in Maryland and nationwide. As we honor MCASA’s 40th Anniversary as the leading statewide advocacy agency this year, we invite you to join us and support our work. Our Call to Action on September 22nd will bring Marylanders together to unite in our efforts to support survivors.
We need your support to continue to fight to end sexual violence in these incredibly difficult times.
Make a donation and help us serve Maryland survivors.
Become a member to support survivors in Maryland.
Lisae Jordan, Esq.
Executive Director & Counsel
Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault