By Agueda Morgan and Rosa Molina, CCASA Staff
In October we were able to visit a few of our member agencies on a CCASA style road trip. As we traveled to the far Southeast corner of Colorado we had a chance to reflect on a variety of things which in turn inspired us to write this list. Enojoy!
1.Starting a trip really early in the morning it is not an easy task, but starting a travel day with a beautiful rainbow, you can’t stop feeling that your adventure will be a positive one!
2. Getting out of the office! Who doesn’t like that? When your job has you behind a desk for the majority of the time you can start to feel like, “Is anybody out there?” Leaving the office and seeing the work that you are supporting is such a breath of fresh air.
3.Taking time outside of the regular work routine to get to know your co-workers is a must do, we learned that after spending some time driving to through Colorado. For instance, Rosa learned that Agueda has been skydiving and snorkeling, two things on Rosa’s bucket list. Agueda learned that Rosa has the strangest obsession with Tuna melt sandwiches!
4. You understand that rural means THERE IS NOTHING AROUND FOR MILES!! Now on a road trip that can cause inconveniences of all sorts, especially when your coffee kicks in and you are in need of a restroom, STAT! But this also make you realize the desperate lack of services for survivors and the dedication that advocates in these areas show when driving an hour and half or longer one way to be there for someone in the immediacy of trauma. Our hats are off to you rural advocate, yes you!!
5. We, as advocates in the metropolitan areas, talk about the many challenges and barriers that survivors face day in and day out in our cities. We also feel frustrated and voice our concerns about the many challenges we have to face with our clients/survivors when we provide support. Now, a real eye opener is when you talk to advocates from rural areas and they share with you the many things they do or the many hats they have to wear when they provide services in the rural areas with even more limited resources. See #2. It clearly makes you notice all the privileges that we have in the big metropolitan areas.
6. The most important things we learned from the trip is the importance of getting to meet and connect with our members all around the state. Getting to spend a couple of minutes with a member of the coalition is simple but fundamental if we really want to work together in some capacity. Listening and learning about the similarities and at the same time the unique challenges their community has in the battle against sexual assault. That is something that we don’t think about but is the basis of a supportive and collaborative relationship.