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BARCC Updates

Be Hope: A Call to Action

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 Gina Scaramella

Gina Scaramella
Gina Scaramella, LICSW, provides the vision and strategic leadership to advance BARCC's mission. As executive director since 2003, she works closely with people within and outside of the organization to continually grow and improve it. Gina began at BARCC as a volunteer hotline counselor in 1989 before heading to graduate school. She joined staff in 1995 to coordinate the medical and legal advocacy programs. Gina has grown BARCC’s budget nearly three­fold and developed the infrastructure to ensure BARCC's positive impact for survivors, in our communities, and beyond. Gina has worked nationally as an expert with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and was part of the EMPOWER leadership team, which was tasked with formulating Massachusetts’s approach to preventing sexual violence. She also served as an expert for the federal Defending Childhood Project of the Boston Public Health Commission. Currently she is on the board of the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner Program, the project management team of the National Telenursing Center, the advisory board for the Indicators Project of the Vera Center for Justice, and the leadership team of the National Vicarious Trauma Tool Kit project with Northeastern University. Gina holds an LICSW license and earned her master of social work degree from Boston University.

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