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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

BARCC Bandanas for Sale

BARCC Bandanas for Sale image

Are you joining us at the Boston Women's March for America? Want to wear your BARCC pride? We're selling limited-edition BARCC bandanas for the occasion, generously created by local designer Cathy Sherwood of Pleased Made especially for BARCC! 

We have a limited quantity printed in high-quality custom colored cotton using eco-friendly ink and processes. We hope you will consider purchasing one or more to wear and keep—and help raise visibility of BARCC and our mission to end sexual violence through healing and social change! 

Colors: Purple ink on cream bandana; white ink on purple bandana; see designs below.

Cost: $10 per bandana. Cost covers production and includes a $1 donation to the Boston Women's March for America.

Availability: Limited. We only have 100 of each color so get your order in ASAP!

Order and pickup: Order your bandana online. You may pick up your bandana at our Be Hope: Activating Our Community event on January 17 (depending on online orders, bandanas may also be available for purchase at the event). You can also pick up your bandana on Thursday (January 19) or Friday (January 20) at our offices at 99 Bishop Allen Drive, in Central Square, Cambridge, between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. 

Questions? E-mail community [at]

Bandana design in white ink on purple bandana

Bandana design in purple ink on cream bandana

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Posted by Jessica L. Atcheson on 01/10 • (0) CommentsPermalink

Monday, January 09, 2017

Media: What You Need to Know about the New Uber and Lyft Background Checks

Media: What You Need to Know about the New Uber and Lyft Background Checks image

In recent coverage by the Metro Boston, BARCC Executive Director Gina Scaramella offers perspective on the new ride-share background checks in Massachusetts.

Excerpt: "Gina Scaramella, executive director of the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (BARCC), said that in her experience, CORI checks, as well as the sex offender registry, are pretty ineffective when it comes to incidents of sexual assault. 'Because it is so rare to be convicted [of sexual assault] and be on a registry, in terms of the number of total incidents, that can’t stand alone by any means,' she said. Sexual assaults are commonly underreported and thus underrepresented in the number of convictions, she said."

Read the full article on the Metro's website.

Published: January 5, 2017.

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Posted by Jessica L. Atcheson on 01/09 • (0) CommentsPermalink

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Op-Ed: Shutting Down Locker Room Talk

Op-Ed: Shutting Down Locker Room Talk image

In her latest op-ed for WGBH News, BARCC Executive Director Gina Scaramella highlights the dangers of dismissing "locker room talk" and the need for schools and universities to adequately address it for effective prevention of sexual violence. 

Excerpt: "When these athletes associate with other 'sexually aggressive, hyper-masculine, and delinquent peers,' as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control puts it, they marinate in a toxic brew of misogyny that can lead to violent behavior. The only way to disrupt this pattern is with an unambiguous community response. That’s why it is so important that administrators at Harvard, Princeton, Columbia, Amherst, and Washington University in St. Louis have told male athletes these actions merit punishment by canceling seasons and suspending offenders."

Read the full article on the WGBH News website.

Published: January 5, 2017.

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Posted by Jessica L. Atcheson on 01/05 • (0) CommentsPermalink

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

A Caring Voice on the Hotline

A Caring Voice on the Hotline image

Volunteer Spotlight: Jess Nissenbaum, Hotline Counselor

Whenever someone calls BARCC’s 24-7 hotline, there’s a voice waiting on the other end of the line. Whether you’re a survivor, family member, friend, or provider, our highly trained and supervised volunteer rape crisis counselors and staff are ready to listen, to support, to help explain options, and to refer you to the resources you need. One of those voices belongs to Jess Nissenbaum, a BARCC hotline volunteer who is a shining example of dedication, skill, and empathy in action.

“Since starting on the hotline two years ago, Jess has taken over 150 hotline calls, providing those callers with a compassionate listening ear, a sense of safety, and connection to BARCC’s community of support. Jess brings a wonderful calm energy to each of her calls,” says Jesse Moskowitz, coordinator of BARCC’s Hotline program.

A social worker by day, Jess is building her career supporting children with a history of hospitalization and their families, while volunteering for BARCC in her free time. Jess was first introduced to BARCC when she was attending Boston College for her master’s degree. She was interested in volunteering on their hotline, but as our luck would have it, their deadline had passed and they referred her to our volunteer program, which was just gearing up for our next training.

More than two years later, Jess now acts as a peer supervisor for the hotline, offering mentoring and support to the other 60-plus on-call hotline counselors. “In this role she has really been able to shine,” Jesse reflects. “Jess brings extraordinary warmth and care to all her interactions, whether on the hotline, in group meetings, or beyond.” At the Champions for Change Gala & Auction this past October, Jess received our Lois Glass Award, presented each year to the hotline volunteer, chosen by their peers, who has shown exemplary compassion, vision, and commitment.

Through it all, the people who call BARCC’s hotline are Jess’s biggest motivation. “Being able to be there for people, I love it. Having a really good call is so rewarding,” she shares. “I’ve been doing this for over two years, and I’m not looking to leave anytime soon.” BARCC celebrates Jess and all the other volunteers are so passionately engaged in our mission to end sexual violence through healing and social change.

Interested in joining Jess as a hotline volunteer? Or is medical advocacy or community education more your style? Either way, check out our volunteer opportunities and start the year off right by applying for one of our 2017 trainings!

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Posted by Jessica L. Atcheson on 01/04 • (0) CommentsPermalink

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Exploring Your Legal Options

The following post was written by our team of legal advocates.

Last month, the Boston Globe ran “Assault Survivor Wants to Turn Detective,” an Ask Amy column in which the advice author addressed a question from a survivor of sexual assault who was considering investigating and reporting the man who assaulted her when she was in high school. As legal advocates working daily with survivors of sexual violence, we wanted to expand upon the advice and perspective offered.

First, it is important to send the clear, unambiguous message to survivors that they are not responsible for the public's safety. Offenders may reoffend but the responsibility for their behavior belongs squarely with the offender and with public safety personnel.

Second, rape crisis advocates can help a survivor look at their situation comprehensively and determine the options that will most help them feel a sense of peace, safety, and justice. The decision to report an assault to police is a big one, and it can affect many aspects of life, including the resurfacing of traumatic memories, frustration with the limits of the justice system, and handling the reactions of family and friends.

Meanwhile, the ultimate outcome cannot be predicted. We agree with much of of the advice given to “Two Decades of Guilt,” but would add that she should speak with a knowledgeable legal advocate for survivors of sexual assault to take the time to explore what justice might look like.

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Posted by Jessica L. Atcheson on 12/27 • (0) CommentsPermalink

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