Director's Viewpoint

Karen BakerIt’s amazing how much can change when we expand our point of view. For our staff at the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, the view has literally changed since we’ve moved to a new building along Harrisburg’s riverfront as of May 2017. Despite the inevitable ups and downs of relocating our numerous staff, voluminous library, and truckloads of office furniture, in return, we have been gifted an opportunity to envision ourselves, organization, and work in new ways. The experience has been a reminder of the many ways change brings challenges and rewards. 

This issue of The Resource expands on the theme of the opportunities and outcomes that emerge when we change our point of view.  For instance, you’ll learn how one campus has embraced a comprehensive approach to conducting climate surveys as an opportunity to learn how to better empower students and bolster prevention. 

As important as it is for campuses to face the challenge of promoting a safer environment, they aren’t alone in this effort. Local sexual assault programs like RESTORE, of Planned Parenthood of Central and Western New York, are reaching out and building relationships with nine local colleges over the past four years to enhance prevention and response to sexual assault. In New Hampshire, the complexity of identifying resources and reporting options for survivors of campus sexual assault was the catalyst for creating an app to make resources more accessible than ever before. 

Taking on challenges and changing perceptions isn’t just something that’s happening on college campuses. Read about a powerful restorative justice campaign that is reframing accountability as a form of love and healing. This issue also asks us to think differently about social media to see this tool as a way of mobilizing sexual violence prevention. You’ll also find a recap of the Raliance Media Summit, an event which brought together journalists from across the country together to ask what stories need to be told next to move the national dialogue on sexual violence forward. 

The theme of embracing change is carried home by a spotlight on how restructuring victim services in the state of Iowa has enhanced services for sexual assault survivors throughout the state. In a state with many rural communities as well as traditionally underserved populations, redistributing funds and introducing new models for sexual assault-specific services dramatically increased survivors served, available services, and community outreach. 

We hope these many examples will inspire you to see opportunities for growth in changing circumstances and new ways of approaching your work.

In Partnership,

Karen Baker

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