Blogathon! I post every half hour for 24 hours, to raise money for the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center.
July 25-26, 9am-9am EST.
Right here on my LJ.
Because I believe in doing good.
Because BARCC is an amazing organization committed to helping survivors of rape and sexual assault and effecting social change to dismantle rape culture.
I've been a survivor speaker for BARCC for two years. I don't just give my survivor speech - though that's powerful in itself! The survivor speech is followed by a Q&A which is often the first time people in the audience have felt able to ask questions of a rape survivor. This can be tremendously valuable not just for the audiences of high school or college kids, but for audiences like police, emergency physicians, nurses, first responders - people who see the survivor in those first raw horrible hours and need to know how best to do their jobs, and have questions that can often only be answered by us. The Survivor Speakers Bureau kicks ass. We are fearsomely brave women who eviscerate ourselves so that others can learn, and can help others.
But I also love love love my work in community education and prevention. I love manning a table at street fairs and getting people to talk about a subject that's so often taboo. I love helping people make their Clothesline Project shirts. I love running workshops on building and maintaining healthy boundaries, and dissecting why high schoolers do and say the things they do, and how *they* can help change our culture. (I love the high school workshops; the kids talk to me with my middle-school height and my Docs and silly t-shirts.)
This is such important work.
You have heard the statistics. Per a Department of Justice survey in 2000, 1 in 6 women and 1 in 33 men reported experiencing an attempted or completed rape at some time in their lives. In Massachusetts alone, 4,418 adolescents and adults are sexually assaulted each year - that’s 12 people each day and one every two hours. BARCC covers the biggest population center of Massachusetts, and its coverage area stretches quite a bit - is why it's the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center.
So 12 people a day. And if they call a rape crisis center - we're who they call.
If you call BARCC after a sexual assault, we will have someone meet you at the hospital and stay with you through your exam, through talking to the police. We will give you up to a dozen sessions of in-person counseling, free of charge. We can get you into group therapy. We can talk you through the night. We are deeply, deeply committed to being there for you, and for your loved ones - because this doesn't occur in a vacuum, and we know it. We have resources for your partner, your roommate, your mom.
We are on the street, helping communities develop their own programs. We're in your schools. We're everywhere. We are ~100 fiercely committed volunteers, working with a staff of dozens to change our world.
These programs, dear reader, cost money. BARCC is fortunate in its volunteers! But all of the materials we give out at those street fairs cost money. It costs money to run the office itself. You know this.
We're doing amazing work. We kick ass.
We need your help.
Why now more than ever?
The state has cut funding across the board, for BARCC and all of the organizations like it. About 30%. *wince* Keep in mind that rape, sexual assault, and domestic violence rates go up dramatically in times of economic crisis. We have less funding to help more people. And it's not just that those rates go up - it's that we community education volunteers are damn good at our jobs, and therefore BARCC's visibility is going up all the time. More people are aware of us, so more people are calling.
What can I do?
I know times are hard for everyone; I know I can't count on a lot of big donations here. But - maybe think about how much you spend at Starbucks in any given week, or what you'd spend at the movies. And donate that. Because trust me, it all adds up. There are over a thousand of you reading me - what if each of you gave $10?
And yeah, I know that won't happen. *laugh* But - give what you can. Every dollar counts. Every sponsorship has an impact.
Are you doing auctions this year?
Why, yes, I am. Check out blogforbarcc!
And flash fiction?
Not on the spot - but I'm posting fiction and poetry every half hour, yes.
Do I get sponsor goodies?
Yes! Recipes from me and zarhooie. A three-story set from me: "My Empire for Ashes", in whatever form it's in next week. "Undertow", the leanan sidhe story last year's sponsors got. And the version of "Fortune" that has been, until now, available only in Ravens in the Library.
If you sponsor me or buy auction stuff for $100 or more? You get custom flash fiction or poetry.
And there will be a drawing for
* A copy of the Wind Tunnel Dreams trade paperback, with your custom flash or poetry handwritten in it.
* A copy of "Magick and Misery" by Lincoln Crisler.
* Two knitted cowls by Phoe.
And we'll see what else I can dig up.
I'm sold! How do I sponsor you?
I'm glad you asked!
Current total: $1,614.00