In each issue of Frontline, we feature one of MCASA’s member programs in our Program Spotlight. This quarter, we focus on the Crisis Intervention Center, which is a dual sexual assault-domestic violence program serving Calvert County. To learn more about the Crisis Intervention Center’s rape crisis and sexual assault services, including prevention and awareness programs, we spoke to Rita Myers, Community Education and Outreach Coordinator, who has been with the agency for three years.
Tell us about your rape crisis program and the issues it tackles. The Crisis Intervention Center located in the Calvert County Health Department has been providing victims and survivors of rape, sexual assault and abuse through our comprehensive services for over 30 years. Crisis Intervention Center was established in 1984 through a joint effort of the Calvert County Commission for Women and the Calvert county Commissioners. In 1984 CIC (formerly named the Abused Persons Program) consisted of two counselors and a program manager. That year the program provided services to approximately 30 residents. Today the program is comprised of a Program Director, a Clinical Director, 4 licensed therapists, Crisis Counselors, administrative staff, On-Call counselors, a Community Outreach Coordinator, a Sheriff’s office Liaison and 35 volunteers. CIC has gone from serving 30 clients to over 800 clients a year (combined Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence clients). We are proud to be a dynamic and professional team dedicated to the citizens of Calvert County. Crisis Intervention Center is entirely grant funded so no clients ever have to pay for services. Typically clients will initially receive crisis counseling for 6-8 weeks. During this time the crisis counselor will work to stabilize the client, provide psycho education concerning the dynamics of sexual assault and abuse as well as domestic violence and connect the client with appropriate resources such as shelter if needed. Licensed therapists are available to provide long term therapy to empower the client to heal from the abuse and move forward in a healthy and productive manner. Crisis Intervention Center is proud to have a wonderful relationship with the courts and State’s Attorney’s Office and is a member of the Family Violence Council, The Sexual Assault Response Team and Domestic Violence Enhanced Response Team. We work in close collaboration with State and County Police as well as DSS and many other government agencies. We strive to make Calvert County a healthy and safe place for our residents and families.
Why are you members of MCASA? We are proud to be members of MCASA. We value MCASA’s efforts in advocating for programs like ours and benefit from their information, trainings and research.
April is Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month. Are you holding any special events? Our Third Annual Fun Run/Walk for Awareness of Sexual Assault and Healthy Relationships is coming up soon! We’ll be holding the event from 1 PM to 3 PM on Saturday, April 16th. This is a great opportunity for the community to come together and share information and resources about sexual assault prevention and awareness. We hope you’ll join us! You can register for the event online at liveherelovehere2016.eventbrite.com. To view the flyer for this event, please click here.
What sexual assault prevention work is your program involved in? For the past two years, we have worked with Calvert County Public schools by establishing our Healthy Relationship Curriculum in all the High Schools. This curriculum discusses the differences between healthy and unhealthy relationships as well as where to go for help if a student finds they are struggling with dating violence or sexual violence issues. We are currently working with the Calvert County School Board to expand this program into our middle schools. In addition we participate in community events such as health fairs, library events as well as school events which allow us to provide the community with resources in our community.
If your program received $100,000 in new funds, what would you do with it? If the Crisis Intervention Center were to receive $100,000 in new funds we would find more comprehensive ways to provide transportation for our clients. As a rural community we find it can be very difficult to receive services without proper transportation. A portion of the funds would be used to provide our residents with more ways to connect with CIC through social media. Currently we operate a 24 hour hotline but feel we could reach more people, particularly youth through other social outlets. A portion of the funds would be used to help our survivors thrive through education programs, housing assistance and employment assistance. Finally, it would be wonderful to provide all of our staff members with a raise for all of the hard yet rewarding work they do every day.