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Press Release: In Midst of #MeToo, Boston Area Rape Crisis Center Announces Fourth Summer Institute

A group of professionals work on a project at the BARCC Summer Institute

The Boston Area Rape Crisis Center has opened applications for its fourth Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Summer Institute. The institute is a 40-hour training, June 18–22, in which participants develop skills for preventing and responding to sexual violence. The progressive methods taught in the institute are increasingly relevant in light of the international conversation around #MeToo and sexual trauma.

“The Summer Institute gives professionals the training and information they need to understand the many aspects of sexual violence, work to prevent it, and support survivors,” said Gina Scaramella, executive director of BARCC. “What they learn in this training can be used across industries to create safe working and learning environments.”

BARCC’s Summer Institute provides clear methods for appropriately responding to students, patients, clients, employees, and members of the general public when they disclose that they have experienced sexual trauma.

"A few years ago, BARCC created the Summer Institute to ensure that others have access to all the knowledge that survivors, significant others, volunteers, and community members have shared with our agency over the past 45 years,” said Megan Mulcahy, BARCC’s recruitment and training coordinator. "BARCC staff’s extensive experience with crisis intervention and prevention makes them uniquely qualified to provide guidance and perspective on working with survivors and communities."

The program is open to all on a sliding-scale payment plan, and has sections tailored to college administrators, social workers, and hospital employees. Continuing education units for social workers are available.

BARCC’s trainers bring years of experience to lessons on how to respond to survivors of sexual violence, trauma-informed counseling techniques to support survivors of sexual violence and their loved ones, how to assess for suicidality and other harmful coping methods, and working with diverse populations, to name a few. Topics include anti-oppression, a deeper look at Title IX, and working with people in communities that face greater barriers to services, such as people with disabilities, the military, male survivors, LGBTQ survivors, and people of color.

Ashleigh Hala, associate director of wellness and director of Sexual Assault Prevention & Response Services at Babson College, is a graduate of the Summer Institute, and often sends colleagues to be trained by BARCC.

Among other initiatives, Hala used her training at the Summer Institute to make sure Babson's policies on student conduct were culturally competent for male survivors. With the knowledge from the Summer Institute, Hala further developed Babson's 24-hour hotline for survivors of sexual violence as a sustainable and efficient project.

“The BARCC Summer Institute is an engaging, high quality, intensive continuous learning opportunity for a variety of higher education professionals,” said Hala. “Whether you directly support survivors, are actively promoting healthy relationships, or are responsible for deploying prevention programs and strategies, you will find value in this program.”

BARCC’s Summer Institute, based on best practice and evidence-based research, lays out steps for contributing to safe, healthy working environments for clients, students, and employees. The Summer Institute also models self-care techniques for participants that can be implemented at any organization, particularly those that work with survivors of sexual violence.

If you have questions about the Summer Institute or are ready to sign up, e-mail Megan Mulcahy at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


About Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (BARCC)

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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Posted by Taylor Rapalyea

Taylor Rapalyea
Taylor Rapalyea serves as BARCC's marketing and communications coordinator. She helps implement communications plans, creates content, and provides support for organizational communications, all to further public knowledge of BARCC's mission and services. Taylor brings four years of local news reporting and editing to BARCC, and has worked at Patch News, the Salem News, and the Gloucester Daily Times. She learned video reporting and editing at the Boston Herald, and served as editor of the Simmons Voice while studying journalism and public relations at Simmons College.

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