Our vision is that Maryland will be a state free of sexual violence.
By working to fulfill our mission, we hope to one day see our vision realized.

Our Mission

Our mission is to help prevent sexual assault, advocate for accessible, compassionate care for survivors of sexual violence, and work to hold offenders accountable.

Our History

The Maryland Network Against Rape was renamed the Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault, Inc. (MCASA) in 1982. The organization grew out of a widespread desire to better address the needs of women across the state. Originally formed by the 13 rape crisis centers that existed at that time, the MCASA Board of Directors was made up of representatives from each local program and an elected president.

Today, MCASA is the federally-recognized state sexual assault coalition. Its core members are the state’s 17 rape crisis centers, but MCASA also represents the voices of many other professionals and service providers working with sexual assault survivors, providing policy advocacy, technical assistance, training, outreach, and prevention.  MCASA’s Sexual Assault Legal Institute (SALI), which was launched in 2004, provides direct legal services for victims and survivors of sexual violence.  SALI also offers technical assistance and training for attorneys, rape crisis center staff and volunteers, and other professionals working with survivors. MCASA’s board has been diversified to include representatives from a variety of disciplines and jurisdictions.

Significant Achievements Include:

Launched "Speak UP. Speak OUT.", a sexual violence prevention campaign statewide in partnership with the Maryland Department of Health (MDH, formerly the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene). Learn more by visiting www.speakup-speakout.org.

Since 1993, provided testimony and other support in the passage of more than 50 significant pieces of legislation. 

Launched the Sexual Assault Legal Institute (SALI), the first ever of its kind in the state of Maryland, which has served more than 2,000 clients since its inception.

 

Launched the Maryland Women of Color Network to focus on issues impacting underserved and diverse populations.

 

Formalized program to support the state’s Sexual Assault Response Teams and Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner programs.

Held more than 200 trainings and conferences to support Maryland professionals including law enforcement, legal professionals, advocates, social workers, forensic nurses, and more. 

 

Launched state-wide advocate training to standardize service delivery by victim advocates to survivors of sexual assault.

 

Developed resources and manuals including the SALI Law Manual, Identifying Legal Issues for Victims of Sexual Assault: A Checklist for Survivors, First Response to Sexual Assault: A Guide for Law Enforcement, and Ensuring Forensic Medical Exams for All Sexual Assault Victims. 

 

Provided technical assistance to thousands of professionals, survivors, and members of the general public.

Distributed tens of thousands of pieces of literature statewide. 

Our Work

Public Policy Activities

  • Monitoring public policy and encouraging a “victim-centered” approach.
  • Promoting justice for survivors and accountability for offenders through legislative advocacy.

Education Activities

  • Promoting public awareness of sexual violence issues and rape crisis and recovery center services.
  • Providing training for professionals such as counselors, advocates, medical personnel, law enforcement, and court personnel.
  • Sponsoring statewide conferences.

Community Outreach and Technical Assistance Activities

Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner (SAFE) Coordination: Linking specially trained healthcare providers to promote consistency and high standards in evidence collection and treatment across the state.

Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) Initiative: Creating multi-disciplinary inter-agency teams to offer comprehensive, sensitive and coordinated interventions for sexual violence survivors. 

College Consortium Project: Assisting colleges and universities across Maryland in the establishment of sexual violence task forces on campus. 

 

Women of Color Network: Promoting education, advocacy, and leadership in communities of color in order to improve service delivery to victims.

 

We also provide technical assistance to professionals and serve as a clearinghouse for information on sexual violence related issues, in addition to providing the following resources:

  • Statewide Sexual Assault Information and Referral help line 1-800-983-7273;
  • MCASA’s quarterly newsletter, Frontline, Sexual Assault Brochures, Manuals, Directories and other literature;
  • Resource Library.

 

Sexual Assault Legal Institute (SALI)

  • Provides direct legal services for victims and survivors of sexual violence. 
  • Offers technical assistance and produces training for attorneys, rape crisis and recovery center staff and volunteers, and other professionals working with survivors.
  • For more information, contact SALI at 301-565-2277, or toll-free at 877-496-SALI.