Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape's Executive Director Delilah Rumburg talks about the history of the National Sexual Violence Resource Center at their recent open house. The event celebrated the 10th anniversary of the NSVRC.
The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center recently celebrated its 35th and 10th anniversaries.
The NSVRC marked the occasion with an open house that highlighted milestones in the organization’s existence—such as the declaration of April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month in 2001, publishing of ‘The Spectrum of Prevention: Toward a Community Solution to Sexual Violence’ with Prevention Institute in 2006 and the completion of the SART toolkit in 2008.
Established in 2000 by PCAR with funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the NSVRC works to identify, develop and disseminate resources regarding all aspects of sexual violence prevention and intervention.
“We have learned a lot in the past ten years,” NSVRC director Karen Baker said. “Mostly we have learned that by working together and sharing our expertise, we can begin to reshape our communities into ones that are more safe, respectful, inclusive, and honoring of each and every person.”
Nearly 100 members of the community and sexual assault prevention field attended the event at NSVRC’s office in Enola, PA where exhibits including publications and technical assistance projects were showcased.
PCAR also celebrated its anniversary with a reception at the Sheraton Hershey/Harrisburg Hotel during its quarterly board of directors meeting. Through a statewide network of rape crisis centers, the coalition continues to be a nationwide leader in providing quality services to victims of sexual violence and creating public awareness and prevention education within local communities.
“Many of the projects that PCAR and the NSVRC have undertaken over the decades have become the model nationally and as we move into the new global generation---will be a model internationally”, PCAR Executive Director Delilah Rumburg said.
The organization also highlighted its accomplishments through its 35-year existence.
“Thirty-five years, that doesn’t seem like a lot when you think this country is over 200 years old,” Rumburg said. “But look what we have done in such a little time—we have turned outrage into action, fostered change and collaboration to build this movement. We took on elected officials and arcane laws and policies. We gathered in Washington to lobby for legislation and funding. We forged partnerships with the criminal justice system to improve police response and investigation; better prosecution of cases when the victim can’t or won’t testify; and wrote bench books and laws to help judges in sentencing perpetrators. We collaborated with the medical community to provide SANE services and screening for patients who may be victims. We tackled issues on college campuses where rape was often hidden or largely unreported to local authorities. And more recently we’ve begin work with the Defense Department, the Department of Labor and large corporations to talk about sexual violence in the workplace.
We’ve made ardent strides in changing and improving these systems and raising awareness although we know our work is not done and may never be done.”
PCAR is the oldest and largest state anti-sexual violence coalition in the U.S. The organization represents 51 sexual assault centers that serve the state’s 67 counties. Each year, these centers provide confidential services, at no charge, to victims of sexual abuse.