For All Seasons Rape Crisis Grows Outreach in the Community

The Rape Crisis Center at For All Seasons provides crisis support to our Mid-Shore’s English and Spanish speaking women, men and children who have been impacted by trauma, rape, and sexual assault. The team of five full time staff members and eight after hours’ staff provide support and guidance through crisis intervention, counseling and education 24 hours a day, fihiaseven days a week.  According to Ivy Garcia, Director of the Rape Crisis Center, “Our numbers have grown dramatically since I started at the Center 10 years ago and our agency has continued to work to meet the needs of the community.”

According to the Rape Abuse & Incest National Network, (RAINN), every 98 seconds, someone in America is sexually assaulted.  Garcia comments that For All Seasons offers 24 hours a day, seven days a week crisis response services for victims of rape and sexual assault in five counties on the Mid Shore, offering both English and Spanish emergency hotlines for the community. She adds, “While we are meeting the needs of the Mid Shore community, we also know that there are still barriers to reporting rape and sexual assault.  We are working to break down the stigma. We have expanded our outreach – working with community agencies to share information about the services we provide so more people will utilize our Center.”

The team at For All Seasons is comprised of trauma-certified advocates who help survivors make the choice that is best for them. This includes ensuring that each survivor is aware of their options for care; believing the survivor’s account of the assault; providing support and listening without judgement; and serving as a support. Specifically, the Rape Crisis Center provides support as survivors receive medical care, legal support, and crisis counseling, regardless of their ability to pay.

In addition to Ivy Garcia, members of the Rape Crisis Center team include Lauren Kirby, Victim Advocate and Outreach Educator; Elizabeth Jaramillo, Regional Navigator for Human Trafficking; Alberto Ardaya, Victim Advocate and Spanish Speaking Interpreter; and Maria D’Arcy, Victim Advocate and Case Manager.

Victims of trauma, sexual assault and abuse are connected to the Rape Crisis Center through the agency’s Rape Crisis hotline, referrals in the community, or by the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner teams at the University of Maryland Shore Medical Centers at Easton, Cambridge or Chestertown.

When working with victims at the hospital, Advocates provide a comfort kit which includes items such as a change of clothes, personal hygiene items, a notebook for journaling and emergency food, and provide a safety check for the victim returning home. For All Seasons provides hotel stays when necessary to ensure a victim’s safety. For All Seasons then provides follow-up with the victim to offer advocacy services, which can include crisis and long-term counseling, legal support, and connection to law enforcement.

Garcia adds, “We are a victim’s advocate throughout the entire process.  No one has to go through this alone.”

The English Hotline is 410-820-5600 or 1-800-310-7273. Para Español llame o envíe un mensaje de texto al 410-829-6143. For further information, visit forallseasonsinc.org.

Caption: Pictured is Ivy Garcia, Director of the Rape Crisis Center and a Spanish Speaking Interpreter at For All Seasons.

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