This month marks the beginning of the new legislative session in Maryland. MCASA continues to have an active voice in Annapolis and looks forward to continuing to advocate for policies to end sexual violence.
This legislative session, we will continue to press forward with bills to maintain funding for services for sexual assault survivors, limit the parental rights of rapists, and require age-appropriate sexual assault and abuse education in all schools. We also look forward to working with Senator Susan Lee and Delegate Kathleen Dumais on legislation to vacate convictions for petty crimes committed as a result of being a victim of human trafficking, as well as working with Senator Lee and Delegate William Smith, Jr., to ensure that all crime victims and witnesses be able to testify in court. Our full legislative agenda is on our website. We expect it to grow as the session progresses. Please help us help survivors: we ask all MCASA members and supporters to commit to contacting their legislators at least 3 times during the legislative session — email, call, visit Annapolis — just reach out and advocate 3 times. Together we can be a strong voice for survivors. To find your legislator click here.
This issue also includes resources about the neurobiology of trauma and an important update regarding Clery Act requirements for sexual assault prevention on college campuses. This prevention reminder is timely, as MCASA has also just released our model MOUs and roadmaps for colleges. Together, these resources will help colleges to continue to improve both their prevention and response efforts.
As part of our ongoing efforts to address the issues of child sexual abuse and prevention, we have updated our online training program, “Preventing, Identifying, and Reporting Child Sexual Abuse in Maryland” to reflect recent legal developments and improve the user experience. This self-paced online course is designed to help Maryland educators and clinicians learn about the effects of child sexual abuse, prevention techniques, and Maryland-specific mandatory reporting requirements. The training also offers a certificate of completion, as well as CEUs for licensed social workers and licensed counselors and therapists.
As we look forward into the new year, we also reflect on what we learned in 2015. The 10th Annual MCASA Women of Color Network Conference, held in November 2015, was a tremendous success, with over 180 professionals, students, and advocates in attendance Learn more about MCASA-WOCN here.
Finally, this issue’s Program Spotlight highlights CASA, Inc. of Washington County. This local rape crisis center serves survivors of both sexual and domestic violence, including children and survivors of incest, and provides a 24/7 hotline, counseling and legal services, community education, and more. We invite you to learn more about their program and the essential work CASA does in Washington County.
Best wishes for 2016. Hope to see you in Annapolis,
Lisae C. Jordan, Esq.
Executive Director & Counsel
Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault
To read previous issues of Frontline, please visit our online archive.