We are in the final days of Maryland’s Legislative Session, and we still need your support. We have already advocated for bills that help stabilize legal services funding, improve responses to sexual harassment in mental health facilities, provide privacy when people change their names, and more. But there are still many bills up in the air. We’re still in the final push for bills to improve laws on workplace sexual harassment (SB834), repeal marriage as a defense to sex crimes (HB147/SB250), and create a reasonable response when teenagers engage in sexting (HB180).
We have finally put a close to 2020, a singularly challenging year that left us grappling with a global pandemic, a reckoning on racial justice in the U.S., and a turbulent election. We start 2021 with these ongoing challenges but with hope that we can move forward, heal, and grow. MCASA will be moving forward by continuing to advocate for legislation that promotes justice for survivors of sexual violence, accountability for offenders, and protection for the general public in the 2021 Maryland Legislative Session.
The 2021 session will have tremendous challenges as the General Assembly strives to keep members, staff, and the
Fall is often a time of exciting new beginnings; students are returning to school, some may be heading to college campuses for the first time, and many of us look forward to new opportunities to spend time with friends and family as holidays approach. Fall 2020 looks a lot different than in previous years as we’ve settled into a routine marked by social distance and public health precautions.
Despite all these changes, MCASA hasn’t stopped working to end sexual violence and support survivors. We have been busy ensuring that we continue to offer quality training, technical assistance,
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
Sexual violence does not stop because of a virus. As Maryland and the United States take precautions for the health and well-being of our communities, MCASA and the SALI are here for you and will continue to provide services to our clients, Rape Crisis Centers, SARTs, and other professionals. Our staff is teleworking, but we are open full time to support you.
During this time survivors of sexual violence may be experiencing increased dangers and isolation. Now more than ever, it is important to share accurate information and resources with our community to make sure that
The beginning of 2020 is a time for reflection and for hope. The past year – and the past decade – have brought tremendous changes for survivors of sexual assault. There is greater recognition that sexual assault and sexual harassment not only happen, but are common experiences. There is better support for survivors and greater recognition that we need to improve how we react to survivors in our families, communities, and institutions.
The beginning of 2020 also brings the start of Maryland’s annual legislative session. MCASA supports legislation that promotes justice for survivors of sexual violence,
As fall gets into swing, we are preparing for many changes in the higher education community. Higher education institutions are currently implementing the requirements of Maryland’s Fair Process state law, at the same time that proposed Title IX regulations threaten to drastically alter students’ rights and the university’s responsibilities under federal law. We are hopeful that the Fair Process law offsets whatever erosion of federal rights may occur. As these changes are underway, the Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault’s college program remains important resource for schools, colleges and universities and
MCASA continued to advocate on behalf of survivors of all types of sexual violence during the legislative session that ended in April. We advocated for bills that addressed child sexual abuse, sex trafficking, sexual harassment, rape, and other forms of sexual exploitation. Our goal is to improve systems at every level. Survivors should have access to justice, services, and support without regard to their immigration status, gender identity, class, race, age, or choice to participate in the criminal or civil justice systems. Sexual violence must be condemned no matter who the assailant is.
Your donation supports Maryland sexual assault survivors and their families through programs such as the Sexual Assault Legal Institute (SALI), which offers free legal services, as well as our work to pass tough legislation that holds sexual assault offenders accountable for their crimes.