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Statement: BARCC Responds to Senate Ways and Means Committee Budget

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Statement by Boston Area Rape Crisis Center Executive Director Gina Scaramella on Senate Ways and Means Committee Recommended Funding of Sexual and Domestic Violence Support and Services

“We are pleased that the Senate Ways and Means Committee recognizes the critical role played by community-based organizations in the Commonwealth’s health and safety by providing services to survivors of sexual and domestic assault and abuse. We are grateful for the Committee’s recommendation to increase funding for services for sexual and domestic violence over last year’s actual spending of approximately $33.6 million to $37.6 million.

“In the wake of the #MeToo movement, incoming requests at the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center for counseling services and guidance in understanding legal options in response to sexual violence have doubled. Last year, the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center accompanied approximately 500 survivors of sexual assault who required a forensic exam, just in the Boston area, to a hospital emergency room. Last month, we accompanied 55 people, nearly two a day, to support the survivor and their loved ones through the forensic exam process, which can take up to six hours.

“We are not the only agency in the state scrambling to meet this increased need. If we are serious about creating the change needed to make domestic and sexual violence a rarity then we must invest in the resources to do so, and we applaud the Senate Ways and Means Committee for responding to this need.

“As the public is learning, sexual harassment, assault, and abuse can—and does—occur everywhere: at home, on campus, and in the workplace. Although the experience of assault can feel deeply private, we need a public response to make all of our communities safer. The first step in this process is ensuring that the organizations already engaged in our communities’ prevention, education, and crisis response have the resources they need.”

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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 barcc.org. Follow BARCC on social media: Twitter @barcc; Instagram @barccofficial; Facebook /barcc.org.

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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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