Frontline Winter 2024

Feb 01st, 2024

I hope you had a peaceful New Year that brought you rest and renewed energy for our work in 2024. The 2024 Maryland Legislative Session began on January 10th and we hosted our annual Legislative Reception in Annapolis on January 18th. Thank you to everyone who sponsored, supported, and attended our reception to learn more about MCASA’s legislative advocacy. We are looking forward to another busy session, with returning and new initiatives on our priority list.

MCASA supports legislation that promotes justice for survivors of sexual violence, accountability for offenders, and protection for the general public. MCASA responds to policy questions and legislative initiatives throughout Maryland's legislative session (January-April). This list will continue to be updated throughout the session.

MCASA's 2024 Legislative Priorities are:

Rape Crisis Center Funding
MCASA supports full funding of rape crisis center services and monitors the budget process and individual funding bills. It is critical that we maintain support for the core services that sexual assault survivors need. Last session, $1 million in new general funding was allocated to help community-based rape crisis centers. MCASA has specifically asked the Moore/Miller administration to continue this needed funding.

Consent – HB496
A bill to create a statutory definition of consent and make it clear that people have the right to control who touches their body in a sexual manner. Lead Sponsors: Delegate Emily Shetty and Senator Ariana Kelly.

Sexual Solicitation of a Minor – Child Pornography – HB99/SB113
Adding soliciting a minor to create child pornography to the law prohibiting sexual solicitation of a minor. Lead Sponsors: Vice Chair Sandy Bartlett and Senator Ariana Kelly.

MCASA’s full list of legislative priorities is available here.
MCASA also hosted many webinars in January. Our spring Virtual Campus Training series kicked off with a presentation on Stalking on College Campuses led by SPARC on January 16th. We also hosted a webinar series with the Maryland Department of Health celebrating the accomplishments of Maryland Rape Prevention and Education grant recipients and their important work over the past five years. If you weren’t able to attend, you can check out the recordings from Part 1 and Part 2. Looking forward, MCASA’s Virtual Sexual Assault Victim Advocate Fundamentals Training (SAVAT) begins this coming Monday February 5th, with daily sessions through the 15th. SAVAT offers great training for advocates who work directly with survivors of sexual violence in Maryland, which includes self-paced learning modules and live webinars facilitated by MCASA and SALI staff, and guest speakers. Learn more and register here.
We are happy to share another edition of Frontline with you. In our Prevention Corner, we highlight the launch of a new training module on employment rights for the LGBTQ+ community. In our Survivor Safety column, we provide an overview of Sexual Assault Forensic Exams and supporting survivor health and well-being after an assault. In our College Consortium article, we discuss the campus Title IX education requirements and how colleges and universities can go beyond these requirements to better support their students. We also raise awareness of human trafficking and its impact on communities of color. Finally, we highlight the work of the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Center (DV/SAC) of Prince George’s County, another one of our amazing Rape Crisis and Recovery Centers.
We invite you to join us in our efforts to end sexual violence. You can become a member 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

Stay In The Loop

Sign up for our mailing list to receive Frontline, MCASA’s quarterly eNewsletter, and stay updated on MCASA’s programs and upcoming events and training in Maryland.

Sign Up