|Published as a Public Service by REM, Convenor of Collaborative Community Enterprises||Fall 2007|
Protect Human Potential
By Pamela Cairnie
Rape Crisis Assistance & Prevention is a non-profit agency serving Northern Kennebec and Somerset Counties. We provide support for every survivor (and their loved ones!) from Manchester to Jackman.
We are not a large agency with a large budget. Currently there are only three of us. Charity is our front desk person, who answers phones and works in our statistical database. Lis primarily works with clients and coordinates any volunteers. And I, Pam, am the educator. I work on prevention by going into the community and schools to talk to people about how to stay safe and keep others safe. The three of us "wear many hats," doing whatever it takes to keep the agency efficient. We also work with great volunteer advocates and staff a 24-7 helpline.
One in four women and one in six men will be sexually assaulted in her or his lifetime. The number of child sexual assaults in Maine is staggering. Our client list never decreases. It is not unusual for someone who has experienced sexual abuse or assault to need help at different times throughout his or her life, so we add new clients while still assisting our long-time ones.
All of our services, including providing educational presentations and trainings and accompanying a client to a hospital for an exam or to court for a hearing, are free and confidential. Unfortunately, with increasing numbers of clients and expenses, we are being asked to provide increased support services with the same amount of funding. We can stretch a buck — and our time — with the best of them, but at some point, the buck has to stop. What happens to those women, men, and children from all walks of life that we serve after the buck stops?
A few folks have called us to find out if we're closing our doors, and we'd like to set the record straight on that! We recently closed our satellite office in Skowhegan, but we continue to provide the same quality services to the Somerset County area through our main office in Waterville.
We need your support if we're going to continue to offer the same level of care to the people we serve and their loved ones. We need compassionate, dedicated men and women to offer their time to our agency in order to assist us in providing services to all of the people we reach out to in our community. Can you spare an hour a week? Two hours? Do you have a special talent for making phone calls or organizing events?
Although there are duties for volunteers that involve interacting with clients and staffing the Helpline, we realize that not everyone is comfortable with that kind of thing. We also need help to fold brochures, create and distribute posters about upcoming events and support groups, send faxes for press releases, update the Sex Offender Registry, develop our lending library list, and much more. It's the gift that will keep giving to everyone RCA&P touches, and you can help from your home, school, or office.
The phone is right there. Give us a call at
Editor's Note: Pamela Cairnie is the education director for Rape Crisis Assistance and Prevention.