In each issue of Frontline, we feature our Program Spotlight section to highlight one of MCASA’s member programs. In this issue, we focus on the YWCA of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County and the services they provide.
What is your name, title, and how long have you worked with your agency? My name is Kate Downey and I’m the Shelter Service Coordinator at the YWCA of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County. I have been at the organization for a little over a year now.
Tell us about the programs and services at the YWCA and the issues they tackle. The YWCA of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County provides assistance to victims of sexual assault and domestic violence through different programs and services. We offer a variety of programs and services, including counseling services for adults and children, support groups for survivors, as well as art therapy, and play therapy. We have a 24-hour hotline where trained advocates can provide emotional support and information on resources to victims. The YWCA also has 24-hour shelter services for victims of domestic violence, case management services, and a hospital accompaniment program. Through the hospital accompaniment program, advocates are able to accompany victims of sexual assault to the Sexual Assault Forensics Exam (SAFE) at the hospital and provide them with additional resources.
Why are you a member of MCASA? We are proud members of MCASA because we strongly believe in partnership throughout the state of Maryland. We appreciate the trainings that MCASA provides and benefit greatly from them. It is important to us to have these connections with different organizations that have the same mission as we do, and being a member of MCASA allows us to strengthen these connections.
What sexual assault prevention work does your program do? Here at the YWCA of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County, we focus on sexual assault prevention in several different ways. Educational efforts in the community are an important part of our prevention work. This past spring, we held an open forum for pre-teens, teens, and their parents that focused on educating them on the topic of dating violence and sexual assault. In addition to educational efforts, we offer our hospital accompaniment program for victims of sexual assault and we are currently a member of the Sexual Assault Response Team (SART).
If your program received $100,000 in new funds today, what would you do with it? If the YWCA of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County were to receive $100,000 in new funds today, we would focus most importantly on growing our programs. In addition to growing and expanding our program offerings, we would want to do more with assisting minors who are victims of sex trafficking and addressing this problem more extensively.