Gina Scaramella, executive director of the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (BARCC) since 2003, is a national expert in solutions to ending sexual violence and in effectively responding to and supporting survivors. She has provided guidance to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health in methods of primary prevention of sexual violence. Gina serves on leadership teams for the National Vicarious Trauma Toolkit project of the Institute of Urban Health Research and Practice at Northeastern University and the National TeleNursing Center’s pilot program that brings the expertise of sexual assault nurse examiner (SANE) providers to under-resourced health centers. She collaborates regularly with rape crisis centers throughout the country in developing and sharing best practices and has served on the boards of many intimate partner violence and sexual assault prevention programs.
Gina regularly shares her expertise with media outlets covering sexual assault cases and related issues. She has helped shape public opinion nationally and locally with op-eds and letters to the editor in the New York Times, the Hill, the Boston Globe, WGBH News, the Huffington Post, and other publications.
As a nonprofit leader, Gina has made great strides in advancing BARCC’s mission to end sexual violence through healing and social change. She has grown BARCC’s capacity to address sexual violence across the lifespan by focusing on individual and policy-level improvement in these key areas:
- Promoting survivor-centered responses to sexual assault and survivor-responsive systems in health care, law enforcement, educational settings, and other institutions
- Fostering partnerships that expand access to quality evidence-based and culturally sensitive interventions for survivors
- Sharing accurate information about sexual violence to the community through outreach, social media, and traditional media
- Facilitating staff and survivor leadership throughout the organization and robust community involvement through volunteerism
Gina also spearheaded BARCC’s work with male survivors and the development of its tools for prevention of sexual abuse in early childhood programs.
Gina has forged partnerships between BARCC and multiple organizations across Massachusetts, including the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA), which resulted in a pioneering public awareness campaign to address sexual harassment on public transportation. She was instrumental in the development of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts SANE program, which trains and supports nurses to conduct forensic sexual assault exams in partnership with a rape crisis advocate. Gina also led the creation of the Movement for Access, Safety, and Survivors (MASS) Collaboration, which works to make services more supportive and accessible to survivors of sexual violence with disabilities in the Boston area, as well as the Access to Forensic Information Project, which provides survivors with accurate information about their options after an assault, including sexual assault exams and evidence collection for police investigations and prosecution.
Gina is a licensed clinical social worker, and her work in the field of sexual violence response and prevention began when she volunteered for BARCC’s hotline. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of New Hampshire and her master of social work degree from Boston University.