Returning and Healing Project
The Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (BARCC), as lead agency, and Boston Mayor’s Office of Returning Citizens (ORC) through the Returning And Healing (RAH) Project, created an innovative initiative with an overall goal to increase the quality of services that formerly incarcerated survivors of sexual violence can access, both at reentry service agencies and at rape crisis centers/sexual violence victims services. Formerly incarcerated people face many barriers in reintegrating into society after being released from carceral institutions, and many are survivors of sexual violence who live with physical and psychological trauma symptoms.
The RAH Project enabled BARCC and ORC to design and implement complementary cross-trainings for each other in order to serve the unique needs that formerly incarcerated survivors have. Building off of best practices and key learnings, both agencies collaborated to develop a RAH Toolkit. The Toolkit will be shared as an open source resource for other reentry agencies and sexual violence victim service agencies, building their capacity to collaborate to provide sexual trauma informed, culturally-relevant resources for formerly incarcerated survivors.
Specifically, BARCC will train ORC staff in a sexual trauma-informed responses to clients disclosing a sexual trauma history, with a focus on connecting these clients to sexual violence service providers or other resources; ORC staff will train BARCC staff to create an environment where formerly incarcerated survivors feel safe to disclose their incarceration history, and to refer them to ORC and/or relevant reentry agencies.
Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (BARCC)
Founded in 1973, the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center (BARCC) is the only comprehensive rape crisis center in the Greater Boston area and the oldest and largest center of its kind in New England. Their mission is to end sexual violence through healing and social change.
BARCC provides free, confidential support and services to survivors of sexual violence ages 12 and up and their families and friends. They work with survivors of all genders from the immediate crisis after sexual violence to years and decades later, and their goal is to empower survivors to heal and seek justice in ways that are meaningful to them. BARCC assists survivors as they navigate the health-care, criminal justice, social service, and school systems. They also work with a wide range of organizations and communities, including high schools, colleges, police, health-care providers, and businesses, to advocate for change. BARCC provides training in how to respond to survivors and create cultures that prevent sexual violence in the first place. Their response and prevention programs are based on research and more than 45 years of direct service experience. BARCC is frequently asked to provide expert testimony about potential policy and legislative solutions to preventing and responding to sexual violence. They also provide expert commentary in the media on these issues. BARCC is powered by a staff of roughly 50 people and more than 200 volunteers from our communities.