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Press Release: More Than 1,700 People Show Up for Survivors of Sexual Violence at Walk for Change

Group of participants at the 2017 Walk for Change

Attendees raise over $222,000 for the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center


Contact: Jessica L. Atcheson,, 617-649-1288

Cambridge, April 28, 2017―The Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (BARCC) announces today that more than 1,700 attendees took part in its Annual Walk for Change, the largest gathering in New England raising awareness of sexual violence, on April 23 to show their support for survivors of sexual violence. Participants at this year’s Walk for Change raised more than $222,000 for BARCC services. The total is a fundraising record for the event, which has taken place annually since 2006.  

Kennedy Elsey, host of the Mix 104.1 Morning Show, emceed the morning rally, and Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley delivered the keynote speech. The Diamond Family Circus Teen Troupe performed at the pre-Walk rally, and participants enjoyed morning yoga, a photo booth, face painting, food trucks, lawn games, and other activities for all ages.  

Attendance at the Walk was up 35% as compared with last year’s Walk. Twenty-five area colleges and high schools took part, and all proceeds raised will support BARCC’s comprehensive services, which include a 24-7 hotline, counseling, medical advocacy, assistance with legal and financial matters, and community education.

“We are incredibly grateful for the support shown to survivors at our Walk,” said Gina Scaramella, BARCC’s executive director.  “We are also pleased with the confidence the broader community has shown for our work by contributing so generously to our event. Over the past three months, national debate around social justice issues, including sexual violence, has dominated the headlines. The public has responded with never-before-seen support for national organizations leading the advocacy, legal, and service efforts for the most vulnerable members of our community. We are heartened to see that that support extends also to local organizations like ours that are deeply engaged in the work of making our world a safer place for everyone.”  

Activist sponsors of the 2017 BARCC Walk for Change were 90+ Cellars, Accunet, Bentley University, Citizens Commercial Banking, Goodwin, Insource Services, Inc., Newton-Wellesley Hospital, Northeastern University, Ropes and Gray, Sanofi Genzyme, and Uber. Community sponsors were Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston IT Services (BITS), Curry College, Eastern Bank, Eaton Vance, Emerson College, ExecuSpace Construction Corporation, Foley Hoag LLP, Funding Change Consulting, Massachusetts General Hospital, Mount Ida College, Partners HealthCare, Sherin & Lodgen LLP, and Wentworth Institute of Technology.


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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