We need your urgent help to support youth survivors of sexual violence. We just learned that in Massachusetts state budget negotiations, vital funding for Youth at Risk Programs has been cut. What this means to us: fewer resources for youth survivors of sexual violence. Please contact your legislators (find them here) to demand that this funding be restored!
The proposed cuts, to line item 4590-1507, would eliminate procured services to 41 community organizations, serving more than 21,000 youth across the Commonwealth. Funding for Youth at Risk Programs enables BARCC to help youth survivors across the state get the support they need to heal from trauma. We use some of these funds to train youth outreach workers—often the first folks who young people disclose having experienced sexual violence to—in the skills they need to effectively support youth with a trauma-informed approach.
These programs specifically serve youth who are often facing multiple barriers to accessing resources, such as homelessness, recent immigration, or identifying as LGBTQ. They may also be showing up in systems (school discipline, social services, etc.) as a result of the violence they’ve experienced and common trauma responses. It is essential that youth outreach workers have the information they need to respond with care and skill to the youth they are working with.
Please call your Massachusetts legislators today! Tell them the following:
- I am a constituent.
- Please restore funding for Youth at Risk Programs, budget line item 4590-1507.
- These funds support youth survivors of sexual violence.
Not sure who your legislators are? Use the Open:States website to look them up and find their contact info.
Once you’ve called, ask your friends, family, and networks to call, too! Share our posts on Facebook and Twitter.
Is this really the time to be cutting funding for youth sexual assault prevention and response? Our answer: no. Together, we can make sure that youth survivors get the support they need!