The following note was written by Janet Yassen, one of BARCC’s founders 45 years ago, to all the people gathered at the BARCC Walk for Change today.
Dearest BARCC and those of you who have gathered to make the world a better, safer, and more peaceful place,
Although I am not physically present with you today, I wanted to share my joy and sorrow in absentia! I am proud and astonished that I am now the grandmother of the most awesome rape crisis center (and one of the few surviving from its time) in the whole United States!
You might not know this, but I was a 21-year-old idealistic feminist in the fall of 1972 and spring of 1973 who was a founding member of the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center. The joy of starting something from scratch, the excitement of being part of the revolution of speaking out against sexual violence, and the hope that we would be able to eliminate sexual assault in our lifetimes still sends chills throughout my whole being. That's the joy part.
Of course, the sorrow is that although our speaking gets louder, stronger, and encircles every corner of our planet . . . the hope of eliminating sexual violence seems diminished. However, look around: our voices still abound, our integrity and resolve is as strong as ever, and each of you walking represents not only yourselves but those in every corner of our planet who are not safe in their homes or communities. Never forget that.
We are walking and holding the best of humanity. So today, smile at those whom you do not know; continue to smile when you leave here. Have fun—since joy is the antidote to violence. Cheer for a better world and always remember: your legacy matters. I am grateful to be part of the roots of BARCC, and you are the wings. Soar today!
I hope to meet you all at another event!
With love and peace,
Couldn’t make it to the Walk? You can still donate to support BARCC’s free, confidential services for survivors of sexual violence, their loved ones, and our communities.