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ICYMI – August

This year’s annual SART Coordinator Day and SART Institute were a roaring success (August 17th – 18th). SART members from all over Colorado gathered virtually to learn about changes in policy that could affect their work, to collaborate on innovative solutions to problems in their communities, and to share resources with those who understand the work advocates and other SART professionals have to do on a daily basis. If you have any questions about starting a SART program or how to request at training for a SART, reach out to Jenna Harper at jenna@ccasa.org.

On August 17th, CCASA’s Communications and Community Engagement Manager, Brandi Dye, attended a listening session hosted by the office of the Colorado Attorney General, Phil Weiser. Organizations from around the state were invited to share their perspective on concerns they face, or might face, in the aftermath of the Dobbs decision. While abortion access is protected in Colorado, our state will likely experience repercussions.

Brandi was able to share CCASA’s perspective: bodily autonomy is crucial to sexual assault survivors because they know all too well the trauma that comes from having it stolen. Protecting reproductive rights for all, regardless of the situation, is important to CCASA. Exceptions to abortion bans, like rape or incest, inherently underscore the belief that someone has to “earn” the right to reproductive and abortion care by first having their body violated. We all deserve reproductive rights and access to information about reproductive healthcare. This means working not only to inform survivors, but making sure sexual assault service providers have information about abortion and reproductive healthcare because, so often, these advocates are a survivor’s only access to this type of information.

The National Sexual Assault Conference (NSAC) was held in August and two CCASA team members attended virtually. Maria Mendez, the Strengthening Sexual Assault Services Project Director, and Sierra Agens, the Training and Technical Assistance Manager, learned from experts in the field and were able to connect with other statewide coalitions. To find out more about what they learned, and what they’re bringing back to Colorado, check out their blog about NSAC!