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BARCC Updates

Press Release: April Is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Graphic with text: Engaging New Voices, Use your voice to change the culture. Sexual Assault Awareness Month #SAAM

The Boston Area Rape Crisis Center will hold events and be available to local media


Boston, March 30, 2017April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), and organizations around the country will engage in extra efforts to raise public awareness about sexual violence and how to prevent it. This year’s theme is engaging new voices in the work in the work prevent sexual violence.

The Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (BARCC) will participate by hosting three educational events that are free and open to the public. The annual Walk for Change, BARCC’s signature grassroots fundraising event will also take place April 23; registration is required. Additionally, BARCC Executive Director Gina Scaramella will be available throughout the month to speak with media outlets who are doing stories related to SAAM.

“In Massachusetts, close to 4,500 adolescents and adults are sexually assaulted each year. That’s about 12 people a day, and it’s unacceptable,” said Scaramella. “At BARCC, we are making investments to change the culture that fosters these crimes, which range from blaming the victim or refusing to believe the victim and trivializing sexual harassment. One way to start is by joining us this month to learn more, develop your own ideas, and commit to being part of the solution. Our events this month will help people from all walks of life learn from our experts. By participating,  people can help us spread accurate information that supports survivors and helps people know what they can do to prevent sexual assault.”

To schedule an interview with Scaramella for your coverage of SAAM, please contact Susan Ryan-Vollmar, BARCC communications consultant, at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 617-999-5644.

As part of BARCC’s efforts to raise public awareness of sexual violence—and encourage action—during SAAM, the organization will host the following community events:

  • Thursday, April 6: Strength and Resilience: Survivors Speak, a free event at the Family Justice Center where survivors will discuss how sexual assault impacted their lives and how they are recovering.

  • Thursday, April 13: Tools to Take Action: Bystander Intervention Training, a free workshop at the Cambridge Public Library, Central Square Branch, that teaches people how to safely intervene and challenge inappropriate sexual and violent comments and behaviors.

  • Thursday, April 20: Sustaining the Movement: A Self-Care Workshop, a free event for advocates, activists, survivors, and significant others to celebrate progress, reflect, and sustain themselves in the movement to end sexual violence.

  • Sunday, April 23: BARCC’s Walk for Change, an annual fundraiser at DCR’s Artesani Park to support the organization’s work to end sexual violence and to publicly support survivors of sexual assault. Registration is required; entry fee is $30 for adults.


About The Boston Area Rape Crisis Center

Since 1973, the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (BARCC) has been a leader in the movement to end sexual violence. BARCC empowers survivors of sexual violence to heal and provides education and advocacy for the social change needed to prevent sexual violence. BARCC provides free, confidential support to survivors of sexual violence and their families and friends. It also works with high schools, colleges, police, organizations, and communities to advocate for change by providing training in how to respond to survivors and create cultures that prevent sexual violence in the first place. For more information, please visit Follow BARCC on social media: Twitter @barcc; Instagram @barccofficial; Facebook /

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Jessica L. Atcheson
As BARCC’s marketing and communications manager, Jessica L. Atcheson leads strategies to advance BARCC’s mission and raise its organizational profile. She develops, implements, and evaluates strategic communications initiatives in a variety of online and offline channels.Prior to joining BARCC, Jessica served as the writer and editor at the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, an international human rights nonprofit. She began her career in nonprofit communications at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health, where she worked as associate editor. She has also earned a bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in communication studies from Hamilton College, studied at Oxford University, and served as a survivor advocate through the AmeriCorps Victim Assistance Program. She volunteers at the Network/La Red, which works to end partner abuse and support LGBQ/T survivors.

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