When news of the Grand Jury Report of sexual abuse by catholic priests broke this year, our community experienced a collective heartache. So many of our friends and neighbors poured through the lists of those accused, praying, fearing, and wondering what names they might find there. No matter what you believe or what your personal history was, we can all relate to this feeling. Sexual abuse carries an impact that cuts deep, spreads wide, and lasts for decades to come.
It can be hard to find solace in moments like those. I’m comforted to know that no person must survive the heartache alone. This past year has been the busiest ever for SARCC. We provided healing support to over 1,150 neighbors – survivors and community members who bravely reached out during a trying time. We were there, 24 hours a day, to make sure no one had to make this healing journey alone.
Our work did not stop there. Knowing that major events like the Grand Jury Report hurt the entire community, we offered listening ears, healing discussions, information, and assistance to groups throughout our communities. Many of us needed time to absorb and grieve. After that, we needed time to plan.
SARCC helped churches, community organizations, parenting groups, and housing authorities plan programs that would transform participants into stewards for children and activists for change. We know that preventing child sexual abuse requires a shift in focus. Adults in our community have the power to prevent sexual abuse against children, and SARCC is there to help them learn the tools they need to make this shift.
We are investing in prevention, and I invite you to join us. SARCC envisions a future free of sexual violence, and we all have a part to play. Our work this year was a start, but it is not enough. Your contribution will allow us to expand our programming, reaching more parents and helping them to break the cycle of abuse. Prevention is possible. Join me in making it a reality.
Ali Mailen Perrotto