Executive Director Gina Scaramella on House Ways and Means Committee Recommended Funding of Sexual and Domestic Violence Support and Services
“We’re pleased that the House Ways and Means Committee recognizes the vital role played by community-based organizations providing services to survivors of sexual and domestic assault and abuse. We’re grateful for the recommendation of a $2.7 million increase in funding for sexual and domestic violence support and services.
“Given the dramatically increased need for services in the wake of the #MeToo movement, however, we will continue to advocate for additional funding for sexual assault support and services. In recent months, incoming requests at the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center for counseling and guidance in understanding legal options have doubled. Modest increases in funding simply are not enough to meet this demand.
“Last year alone, the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center accompanied approximately 500 survivors of sexual assault, just in the Boston area, who required a forensic exam at a hospital emergency room. Many hundreds more also requested services for assaults that did not require immediate medical attention. And an additional 5,000 called our 24-hour hotline for assistance. We also provide training in how to respond to survivors and create cultures that prevent sexual violence in the first place to a wide range of organizations and communities, including high schools, colleges, police, health-care providers, and businesses.
“As the public is learning, sexual harassment, assault, and abuse can—and does—occur everywhere: at home, on campus, and in the workplace. It’s up to all of us to change this. A very basic first step in this process is ensuring that the organizations doing most of the prevention, education, and crisis response in our communities have the resources they need.”