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Walk for Change with BARCC!

On April 11, 2010, BARCC will hold its fifth annual Walk for Change. It’s one of our biggest fundraisers, and it’s a great opportunity to come out and see what we’re all about!

I’m walking because BARCC is an amazing organization committed to helping survivors of rape and sexual assault and effecting social change to dismantle rape culture.

I don’t just give my survivor speech - though that’s powerful in itself! The survivor speech is followed by a Q&A which is often the first time people in the audience have felt able to ask questions of a rape survivor. This can be tremendously valuable not just for the audiences of high school or college kids, but for audiences like police, emergency physicians, nurses, first responders - people who see the survivor in those first raw horrible hours and need to know how best to do their jobs, and have questions that can often only be answered by us. The Survivor Speakers Bureau kicks ass. We are fearsomely brave women who eviscerate ourselves so that others can learn, and can help survivors.

But I also love my work in community education and prevention. I love manning a table at street fairs and getting people to talk about a subject that’s so often taboo. I love helping people make their Clothesline Project shirts. I love running workshops on building and maintaining healthy boundaries, helping people figure out how best to respond to a disclosure of rape or sexual assault, and dissecting why people do and say the things they do, and how they can help change our culture. (I love the high school workshops; the kids talk to me with my middle-school height and my Docs and silly t-shirts.)

This is such important work.

You have heard the statistics. Per a Department of Justice survey in 2000, 1 in 6 women and 1 in 33 men reported experiencing an attempted or completed rape at some time in their lives. In Massachusetts alone, 4,418 adolescents and adults are sexually assaulted each year - that’s 12 people each day and one every two hours. BARCC covers the biggest population center of Massachusetts, and its coverage area stretches quite a bit - is why it’s the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center.

So 12 people a day. And if they call a rape crisis center - we’re who they call.

If you call BARCC after a sexual assault, we will have someone meet you at the hospital and stay with you through your exam, through talking to the police. We will give you up to a dozen sessions of in-person counseling, free of charge. We can get you into group therapy. We can talk you through the night. We are deeply, deeply committed to being there for you, and for your loved ones - because this doesn’t occur in a vacuum, and we know it. We have resources for your partner, your roommate, your mom.

We are on the street, helping communities develop their own programs. We’re in your schools. We’re everywhere. We are ~100 fiercely committed volunteers, working with a staff of dozens to change our world.

These programs, dear reader, cost money. BARCC is fortunate in its volunteers! But all of the materials we give out at those street fairs cost money. It costs money to run the office itself.

We’re doing amazing work.

We need your help.

So register today, and walk with BARCC! Start a team of friends, family, colleagues - or just walk by yourself. If you can’t come do the walk with us, sponsor one of our walkers!

Help us change the world.

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Posted by Shira

Shira formerly served as a volunteer with BARCC's Survivor Speakers Bureau and Prevention Services. She also formerly worked as BARCC's volunteer and program assistant. Shira also writes science fiction and fantasy short stories and poetry, and much of her outreach was done within the community of science-fiction fandom and the closely-allied local polyamory community.

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