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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Marching for America in Boston and Beyond

Marching for America in Boston and Beyond image

On January 21, the Women’s March will unite communities across our nation to rise up against hate, intolerance, and acts of violence affecting so many people. Survivors of sexual violence have been a specific target and especially affected. The words we live by here at BARCC—dedicated to healing, advocating for change—feel more potent now than ever. In that spirit, the BARCC community will come together in solidarity by joining the Boston Women’s March for America—a march for everyone—and we want you to join us!

Sexual violence is not a partisan issue, and it is not a women's issue alone. It is a reality for every person, family, and community. BARCC was founded in 1973 as a response to the sexual violence that people in the Greater Boston area were experiencing. Today, we are at another turning point in history, and we call on our community members to contribute their voices to this growing movement for change.

Throughout the past year, sexual violence was minimized, leaders were not held accountable, and survivors were exploited. We refuse to be silent. No matter who the political leaders are, BARCC is here, and we will continue to be. It is vitally important to show up now—for one another, for survivors, for our communities.

We are not only survivors and supporters but also immigrants, LGBTQIA+ people, people of color, people with disabilities, people of faith, and women. So many in BARCC’s community hold various identities targeted by the growing hate and intolerance we have witnessed in recent months. To support our community, promote continued healing for survivors, and advocate for progressive change, we invite you to join us at the following march-related events.

Be Hope: Activating Our Community

Going to the march in Boston or Washington, DC? Can’t make the marches but still want to be part of the movement? Either way, join us for an energizing evening of sign making and more.

When: Tuesday, January 17, 5:30–8:30 p.m.

Where: BARCC offices at the Family Justice Center, 989 Commonwealth Ave., Boston

RSVP: Please RSVP on Facebook to let us know how many folks to expect.

  • Button making
  • Sign making
  • Survivor speaker
  • Info on BARCC services
  • Community connection

Light snacks and basic supplies for making buttons and signs will be provided. We welcome donations of poster board, sign sticks, heavy-duty tape, a staple gun, markers, table/drop cloths, and poster paints. Please let us know if you need any accommodations in order to join us, and feel free to contact community [at] with any questions.

March with BARCC: Boston Women’s March for America

Join BARCC staffers, volunteers, and community members as we march for healing and change at the Boston Women’s March for America.

When: Saturday, January 21, 10:45 a.m. meetup; 11:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m. march program

Where: Boston Common; meeting location TBD

RSVP: Please RSVP on Facebook to receive updates on meeting spot and more. You can also register for the march as part of the BARCC group on Eventbrite

We will gather as a group, join the rally, listen to speakers, march in community and solidarity, and circle back for the collective call to action.


If you have questions or need more information, e-mail community [at] or call our offices at 617-492-8306.


BARCC Tax ID: 04-2974983

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Posted by Jessica L. Atcheson on 12/21 • (0) CommentsPermalink

Monday, December 19, 2016

Ready to Design the Next Walk for Change T-Shirt?

Ready to Design the Next Walk for Change T-Shirt? image

Starting Monday, the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center is now accepting submissions for T-shirt designs for the annual Walk for Change to End Sexual Violence. Show off your creativity—your design could be chosen as the official Walk for Change T-shirt worn by over 1,500 participants this April!

Submission and voting timeline

Contest opens: Monday, December 19
Deadline for submissions: Friday, January 27, 5:00 p.m. EST
Semifinalists (selected by the Walk Committee) announced: Friday, February 3
Public voting (via Facebook and Google Poll): February 3–10   
Finalists announced: Friday, February 10
Winning design (selected by the Walk Committee) announced: Monday, February 13


Power of You: Supporting All Survivors

Official Walk for Change messaging

Take action to end sexual violence!

The first step starts with you. Will you walk with us?

You have the power to show all survivors the support they deserve!

Official Walk hashtags:

#powerofyou #BARCCWalk4Change

Design and submission guidelines

  • Design must be inspired by the Walk for Change and the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center’s mission to end sexual violence through healing and social change.
  • Design will appear on the front of a white shirt, in no more than two colors, and may not exceed 12” wide by 12” high.
  • It is not a requirement that the BARCC logo be used in the design; those wishing to use a logo should refer to the Facebook album for the contest for approved logos.
  • Your design must be wholly original. By submitting a design you are guaranteeing that you hold the rights to everything in it and that it does not contain any copyrighted material.
  • Designs must be appropriate and not offensive; they may not contain profane or otherwise suggestive language.
  • Formatting for submission: It’s best if you create your design in Photoshop, Illustrator, or another professional design program. Submit entries as medium-resolution JPEG or pdf files. Please be prepared to submit the original Illustrator or Adobe Photoshop file in the case your artwork is chosen. Design must be easy to reproduce by silkscreen. We reserve the right to make adjustments to the winning design.
  • Photograph submissions will not be accepted.
  • Submissions must include a valid e-mail address.
  • You must be 18 years or older to submit an entry. If you’re under 18, designs must be submitted by a parent or guardian.

Submitting entries

Please enter your design using this Google form; all information is required to enter.

Up to three different designs will be accepted per person, but they must be submitted as separate entries.


In addition to bragging rights, the grand prize winner will receive special recognition on the BARCC website, Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram, and other event communications. The winner and one guest are also eligible to register for the Walk for Change at no cost and will receive two free T-shirts and a framed T-shirt as a keepsake.

For their participation, all design semifinalists will receive a $10 discount to register for the Walk for Change. Finalists will receive a $15 discount to register for the Walk.

Winning submission will be announced on February 13. By submitting a design, you are agreeing to all contest rules. For questions regarding the contest, please contact Lauren Siebal at events [at] or call our offices at 617-492-8306.

Download a PDF of Walk T-Shirt Design Contest details and guidelines.

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Posted by Jessica L. Atcheson on 12/19 • (0) CommentsPermalink

Monday, November 28, 2016

What You Can Do to Support Survivors

What You Can Do to Support Survivors image

Sexual violence is in the national dialogue in a way that it never has been before. And the holiday season, which can be a stressful and difficult time for many survivors, is here. In addition to an increase in requests for services over the past year, BARCC has recently seen an influx of people reaching out to us with offers to volunteer and donate. Many are searching for answers to the question, “What can I do?”

Here are just five things you can do to support the survivors of sexual violence in your lives and in the world:

1. Listen, believe, empower.

When someone shares their experience with you, listen to them. Tell them that you believe them and that you are here for them. Trust them to make their own decisions. Learn more about how to support someone you know. And get your own support—BARCC services are available to friends and family, too.

2. Learn how to take action when you witness inappropriate comments or behavior.

Do you know what you’d do if you saw someone sexually harassing someone on the T? What if you heard someone making a joke about sexual assault? To support survivors and help prevent sexual violence, learn how to take action so that you’re prepared the next time it comes up (chances are it will). If you’re local to Boston, we have a workshop coming up that you can attend. And you can also request a bystander training for your school, organization, or community group!

3. Let people know about BARCC.

Our mission is to end sexual violence through healing and social change. We provide free, confidential support and services to survivors of sexual violence ages 12 and up and their families and friends. We work with survivors regardless of when the violence occurred, and our goal is to empower survivors to heal. We also work with a wide range of organizations and communities, including schools, colleges, and police, to advocate for change. We provide training in how to respond to survivors and create cultures that prevent sexual violence in the first place. Let your family, friends, coworkers, and networks—basically anyone and everyone—know that we are a resource!

4. Give people a visual cue that you support survivors.

Let people know that you are someone who cares about ending sexual violence and supporting survivors by communicating it visually. You can do this by wearing a BARCC button. Or make your own pin or sticker or sign that says, “I support survivors. End sexual violence.” Take a picture of yourself with the the sign (or button or sticker) and share it on social media (we like to use the hashtags #EndSV and #supportsurvivors). Or wear a teal ribbon (which traditionally stands for sexual assault awareness). These are just a few ideas.

5. Send a message of support.

We’re compiling messages of support for survivors and will share them in a creative project. Want to get involved? Fill out this form to send a message of support (to be shared publicly). Not sure what to say? Write from the heart. Just a few examples: “We believe you.” “You are strong, you are loved, you are not alone.”

What are your ideas?

These are just five things you can do, and we know there are hundreds more. Share your ideas in the comments below!

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Posted by Jessica L. Atcheson on 11/28 • (0) CommentsPermalink

Upcoming Community Events: Healing and Action

“What can I do?” “How can I help?”

These are two questions BARCC has been hearing over and over throughout this election cycle. We’ve been inspired and moved by the outpouring of support—and also reminded that the need for services like ours is greater than ever. As more and more survivors and their significant others reach out to talk to us about how the events of the past months have been affecting them, we want them to know they are not alone.

As an agency committed to ending sexual violence through healing and social change, we want to make sure all people in our communities are supported. There have been many individuals who have reached out to us in recent weeks to say that they feel frustrated, sad, helpless, and more. No one is alone in experiencing these feelings. At the same time, we know that no one is powerless to do something about the world we live in. Whether you are a survivor or someone who is interested in supporting the community, we all have the power to effect change.

We hope that you will join us on December 8 for a place to talk and heal, and on December 15 to learn how you can take action. You are welcome to RSVP to one or both events, and we will keep you up to date as more are scheduled for the future. Please let us know if you need any accommodations in order to attend, and feel free to contact with any questions.

Be Hope: Healing as a Community

This workshop is for survivors, their loved ones, and anyone feeling affected by the amount of sexual violence in the media coverage during the election. We are opening up our space to provide support to our community at this challenging time.

When: Thursday, December 8, 6:00–8:00 p.m.

Where: Family Justice Center, 989 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, MA 02215

RSVP: Please fill out this Google form to RSVP. To help spread the word, you can also respond on Facebook and share with your networks.

  • Share and support one another as people affected by sexual violence and passionate about ending it
  • Learn about how coverage of the election can trigger trauma responses for survivors of sexual violence and their loved ones
  • Discuss how feelings of safety and trust have been affected and brainstorm ways to rebuild sense of safety and trust after experiencing trauma
  • Find ways to come together as a community to support survivors and one another
  • Learn more about BARCC services and ways you can get involved

Be Hope: Take Action to End Sexual Violence

This workshop is open to anyone in our community who wants to learn concrete tools to support survivors and all people who are feeling targeted at this challenging time. BARCC’s Bystander Intervention training will prepare you to notice when something is not right, assess the situation, and take action to disrupt and prevent violence or harassment against people who are vulnerable in our communities. Creating a safer culture starts with you, and we will help you practice techniques to intervene safely.  

When: Thursday, December 15, 6:00–8:00 p.m.

Where: Family Justice Center, 989 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, MA 02215

RSVP: Please fill out this Google form to RSVP. To help spread the word, you can also respond on Facebook and share with your networks.

  • Build skills for safely acting to challenge inappropriate sexual and violent behaviors
  • Practice intervening in a variety of scenarios pulled from news of recent events so that you feel prepared for what you may encounter
  • Learn more about BARCC services and ways you can get involved

Hope to see you there!

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Posted by Jessica L. Atcheson on 11/28 • (0) CommentsPermalink

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Be Hope: A Call to Action

Be Hope: A Call to Action image

The following message is from Gina Scaramella, BARCC's executive director: 

Dear BARCC community,

Yesterday was a day of caring for each other among our staff, volunteers, and board. Today, we want to offer you, as part of our bigger family, some of the same. We want to let you know that we remain here, with you, stronger than ever in our resolve to end sexual violence. And we want to share one thing you can do to take action.

Because this is a politically charged time, I want to be clear that BARCC is not about partisan politics—but like all effective organizations, we do have an agenda. It is an agenda that any person of goodwill can be on board with.  

Our mission is to eliminate sexual violence in all its forms. For anyone who has experienced it, we are a resource in your path of healing and justice. And we provide education and advocacy for the social change needed to prevent it.

Sexual violence has been constantly threaded throughout this lengthy presidential campaign. Our staff and volunteers have spent hours upon hours supporting survivors 24-7 from every walk of life who feel anxious, depressed, and fearful. I hope you feel pride in being a part of making that level of support possible.

At its core, sexual violence of every type is about dehumanizing people. It exists and flourishes because we allow inequalities to persist. Offenders exploit vulnerabilities in the people they choose to offend against and in society’s institutions and systems. That is how (and why) this work is tied to advancing civil rights and equality for all. 

We spend a lot of time engaging others in our mission. Last week we had an incredible anti-sexual harassment campaign launched with the MBTA and the Boston Center for Independent Living. This is one great example of how our work happens at the intersection of sexual violence and disability rights.   

You have seen so many aspects of sexual violence and human rights play out in this election. Every person, every human being, deserves a life free of sexual violence. We were lifted up yesterday by an outpouring of donations and requests to volunteer for BARCC. More than 50 people reached out offering to volunteer, and we received an average of one donation per hour, many from first-time donors with moving personal notes.

We need your help to continue our daily work at these intersections of healing and social justice. Here’s one thing you can do today: talk to your family and friends about BARCC and ask them to join us—whether through donatingvolunteering, or signing up for our e-mail. Stay tuned in the coming days and weeks for more ways to take action and take care. 

Yesterday, one of our staff, a Muslim-American woman, noticed that our local florist shop's daily giveaway had special meaning: if your name matches the name on the sign, you get a free rose, and yesterday’s name was Hope. She came into the office with dozens of roses and told us we can each "be Hope." You, too, can be Hope. 

With deep gratitude, 

Gina Scaramella

P.S. Don't forget the other thing you can also do, always: reach out to BARCC for support by calling our 24-7 hotline: 800-841-8371.  

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Posted by Jessica L. Atcheson on 11/10 • (0) CommentsPermalink

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