Rebranding for inclusiveness was important
Published 1:01 pm Thursday, April 12, 2018
The Bluegrass Rape Crisis Center recently announced a rebranding decision aimed at making the agency more inclusive.
Now called Ampersand Sexual Violence Resource Center of the Bluegrass, the agency serves Clark and 16 other counties in Central Kentucky offering a wide variety of support services for survivors of various types of sexual assault.
The rebranding launched March 27, and came about when stakeholders of the agency realized that ‘Bluegrass Rape Crisis Center’ no longer represented what they do, according to the ampersandky.org website.
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The new name signals that the agency offers many different services to many different types of people. The rebrand also includes new values, mission and vision statements for the agency.
There are services available to those who have experienced recent trauma, those who have experienced multiple assaults, and those who are adult survivors of childhood sexual violence — not just rape victims/survivors.
As cultural views on sexual assault shift, this shift of focus was an important and much-needed move for the agency.
According to data provided by Ampersand, every 98 seconds another American is sexually assaulted. One in every six women and one in 33 men in America has been a victim of an attempted or completed rape. About 70 percent of rapes are committed by someone the victim/survivor knows.
There are many other harrowing statistics regarding sexual violence in communities of color, in the LGBTQ+ community and against people with disabilities.
The statistics, available at ampersandky.org, are evidence that sexual assault is not discriminatory. People of all backgrounds, colors, nationalities, genders, orientations, economic levels, etc. can be negatively affected by sexual assault.
And those effects can be all-encompassing, affecting the survivor’s work and personal life, and can also be passed on to families, friends, co-workers and more.
Ampersand offers valuable resources to these individuals and their recovery process, including a 24/7 support line, counseling and therapy and medical and legal advocacy.
The agency takes its mission a step further than assisting victims of sexual assault. The staff and volunteers at Ampersand envision a future where sexual assault no longer exists.
To achieve this mission, Ampersand has a new focus on community engagement and prevention education that will start as early as middle school.
If conversations about what is considered sexual assault, how to prevent it, how to avoid being a perpetrator, the legal and emotional reifications, and more begin at a young age, agencies like Ampersand make huge strides in reducing the terrible trends of sexual violence in our country.
Inclusivity in the client base and the methods of community engagement at Ampersand will be key to this endeavor.