This is a milestone year for the DC Rape Crisis Center (DCRCC) as we celebrate 45 years of service to the Washington, DC community. I am writing this letter with a sense of urgency, as the nation’s first and oldest rape crisis center in the country, and the only rape crisis center in Washington, DC. If this year has demonstrated anything, it is that a call to action has been extended. Your financial support is what will allow us to continue providing barrier free, survivor centered, and trauma informed therapeutic services to survivors of sexual violence at the DC Rape Crisis Center.
While we have a rich and deep legacy in serving survivors of sexual violence, DCRCC and our fellow rape crisis centers across the country are struggling to not only remain relevant in this season of uncertainty, but to respond to the changing, and competing priorities for funders. This coupled with the national language and rhetoric around violence against women is putting the DC Rape Crisis Center in a vulnerable state to still be able to serve the most vulnerable residents of Washington, DC.
From 1972 until today, our agency holds a thread line that shapes our priorities to center the needs of those experiencing violence. We know first- hand that sexual violence is not a pre-existing condition, but a condition that violates the human spirit, and challenges the consciousness of our nation. We stand unapologetically in recognizing that there is no straight path to healing, but instead we provide a choice gate for survivors of sexual violence that encourages empowerment, and self -determination over their own well -being. With the healing of survivors as our primary goal, we are proud to say that during the calendar year of 2016, we trained and managed 100 volunteers who were critical to our ability to carry out our work. We provided individual and group counseling to over 300 survivors of sexual violence, and responded to over 4,000 hotline calls.
As one client stated “The hotline is not just a crisis line, but a lifeline. “Another client stated that “I learned at the DC Rape Crisis Center that there is victory in victimization.” These numbers are just the beginning; we know that there is still so much more work to do. We continue to see a significant increase in our hotline calls, as well as requests for individual and group therapy. I ask that you please consider standing with us, and standing with survivors of sexual violence. We need your help. For a time such as this the stakes are too high.
To support DCRCC in continuing to serve the most marginalized in our community, please consider making a gift to help DCRCC continue this work as follows:
$25 provides supplies for our Monthly Client Gathering, used to foster survivor fellowship and healing.
$45 in honor of our 45th anniversary that will go towards providing general operating support.
$500 provides 60 hours of crisis hotline training for our new Crisis Intervention Advocate Volunteers.
$800 provides a survivor of sexual assault with 3 months of therapeutic counseling from a licensed clinician.
$1,500 provides a survivor of childhood sexual assault with 6 month of therapeutic counseling from a licensed clinician.
$2,000 provides support for additional clinicians in helping to get clients off of our waiting list for individual counseling.
We humbly ask that you plant a seed in support of the oldest and the first rape crisis center in the country so that we can continue to do life- saving, cutting edge work on behalf of survivors of sexual violence. Your support is greatly needed. On behalf of survivors of sexual violence we thank you for time, generosity and consideration.
Indira M. Henard, MSW
DC Rape Crisis Center
- Susi Wyss
- Laura Scalzo
- Joanne Leedom-Ackerman
- Alisha Horowitz
- Melissa Yeo
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