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Speak Up, Speak Out against Sexual Violence

This post shares the experience of Ali, a survivor who has used BARCC’s medical advocacy, hotline, and legal advocacy services. *Content note: sexual violence.

Ali is a singer, songwriter, and recent college graduate. Two years ago, another student sexually assaulted her. They’d been talking for a few weeks, and he offered to bring her dinner while she waited for her laundry. Ali agreed, and they hung out in her room. That’s when he assaulted her.

Ali first learned about BARCC at the hospital. One of our volunteers met her there and supported her through having her sexual assault evidence collection kit done.

“If I didn’t have her, it would’ve been a scarier experience,” said Ali of the medical advocate who met her in the hospital. “If I didn’t get to squeeze her hand when I was in pain, then I wouldn’t have had any hand at all.”

“[The BARCC volunteer] also told me that everyone’s different, that everyone will react differently, and I’m normal. . . . When she affirmed my feelings, it meant the world to me.”

Ali called BARCC’s hotline a few days after the assault.

“I felt really lonely when I called the first time,” she said. “Everyone I told wasn’t sure what I needed, but I had no clue what to tell them. I felt really used and cheap. I just couldn’t believe that it happened to me. BARCC really validated my feelings.”

“I called the hotline a lot. BARCC was always there on my speed dial, and just knowing that was enough to get me through a lot of nights.”

Ali was able to get legal help through BARCC.

“BARCC helped get me in touch with a lawyer so I knew my rights when my college wasn’t handling things properly.”

“BARCC has helped me so much the past couple years and now I really want to give back. I created an album called Speak Up, Speak Out for survivors of sexual assault and other traumas. Half the proceeds are going to BARCC. Next year, I want to volunteer more of my time for the Walk for Change and fundraise.”

BARCC offers free and confidential services to survivors of sexual violence and their loved ones. Learn more about our services or call our 24-hour hotline at 800-841-8371.

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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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