MECASA represents Maine’s sexual assault support centers at the following statewide groups.
Alliance for Maine Women
The Alliance for Maine Women is a broad network of organizations working to ensure that all Mainers have the economic, social, and political power to make decisions about their bodies, sexuality, health, and families—with an emphasis on securing these rights for Maine women. The Alliance for Maine Women brings together members with diverse expertise and experiences who understand that all people in Maine benefit when Maine women have the right to economic security and reproductive justice (including access to abortion), and can live their lives with agency, autonomy, and freedom from violence. Members of the Alliance for Maine Women work to achieve this through legislative and legal advocacy, community organizing, and public education.
Attorney General’s Trafficking Work Group
The Maine Attorney General’s Human Trafficking Work Group is a team of state and local providers representing law enforcement, service provision, and public education. The group targets statewide policy and infrastructure opportunities and provides a statewide platform for sharing local trafficking resources and coalition development. MECASA staffs this effort.
Maine Child Welfare Advisory Panel
Maine Child Welfare Advisory Panel is committed to diverse stakeholders and being comprehensive, respectful and responsive to child and family needs, and providing an adequate framework for safe, thriving children having permanency with families and community. MCWAP is convened by the Dept. of Health and Human Services as part of the state’s requirement to convene a multidisciplinary committee under the Children’s Justice Act grant. MECASA represents the voices of sexual violence service providers and children’s advocacy centers on the committee.
Dept. of Corrections Victim Advisory Group
The DOC Victim Advisory Group develops systems change proposals, legislation, and other projects designed to ensure that victims receive high-quality support and services from the DOC, and that corrections services keep victim safety as a top priority. Recent projects include legislation which created a restitution fund for elder victims of crime, a pilot project to track data about victim contact at the state and county jails, and efforts to change the victim notification system for offenders out on bail.
Justice Assistance Council
The Justice Assistance Council decides on funding for states and local governments to support a broad range of activities to prevent and control crime and to improve the criminal justice system. One of the funding streams for which the JAC is responsible are the STOP Violence Against Women funds which fund projects implemented by law enforcement, prosecutors, the courts, and victim service providers, including Maine’s sexual assault support centers.
Commission on Domestic and Sexual Abuse
The Commission on Domestic and Sexual Abuse exists by statute and consists of thirty-four positions which are filled by gubernatorial appointment. It has existed since 1990. The Commission’s statutory charge is to “advise and assist the executive, legislative and judicial branches of State Government on issues related to domestic and sexual abuse. The commission may make recommendations on legislative and policy actions, including training of the various law enforcement officers, prosecutors and judicial officers responsible for enforcing and carrying out the provisions of this chapter, and may undertake research development and program initiatives consistent with this section.” (19-A M.R.S. § 4013(3))
Maine Council for Elder Abuse Prevention
MCEAP was established in 2011 in response to a recognized need for more collaboration among elder abuse resource providers. The mission of MCEAP is to create a statewide structure that collaborates and supports efforts to combat elder abuse, neglect and exploitation.
Maine Criminal Justice Academy Board of Trustees
The MCJA Board consists of seventeen members, who include all levels of law enforcement, as well as non-law enforcement citizens. The duties of the Board of Trustees include: training and certification of all law enforcement and corrections officers in Maine; establishing admission and graduation standards; certification of police chiefs, sheriffs and jail administrators; other training programs considered to be beneficial to law enforcement officers, corrections officers, and other criminal justice personnel; and establishing the minimum standards for mandatory law enforcement policies. The Board is responsible for certifying instructors and courses for in-service and refresher training conducted for law enforcement and corrections personnel in Maine. The Board is also responsible for the revocation or suspension of the certification of law enforcement or corrections officers who fail to meet training standards or who engage in wrongdoing.
Maine Suicide Prevention Program Advisory Council
The MSPP Advisory Council seeks to develop outreach and awareness materials, to deliver training to schools and the public about warning signs and prevention, and to increase support for teens seeking prevention/postvention services. Much of the work of the committee happens at the subcommittee level, where subcommittees are implementing Maine’s Suicide Prevention Program Strategic Plan.
Maine Women’s Health Campaign
The MWHC consists of health advocates across a wide spectrum, from reproductive rights to health access to tobacco prevention programing. This committee has existed largely as a resource for networking and communicating issues to a wide group of advocates with a common interest, and recently has begun to develop a more formal structure with elected chairs, a steering committee, and annual tasks. Recent projects include advising the Maine CDC on a 10 year edition of a Maine Women’s Health data report and a statewide Women’s Health Conference. MECASA serves as a member of the steering committee.
MaineShare’s mission is to provide significant support to organizations doing progressive social justice and root cause work in Maine and to raise public awareness of their work. MaineShare manages a give-at-work campaign, in which all proceeds go to a pool of over 40 statewide organizations which focus on economic opportunity and human development; human services and health education; cultural diversity and the arts; the environment; and social justice and peace. MECASA is both a member organization and a workplace-giving site; individual workplace giving donors may direct their donations to specific organizations or to all organizations equally.
Permanent Commission on the Status of Maine Women
The Permanent Commission on the Status of Women is a government-appointed group dedicated to improving opportunities for women and girls. As such, they advise the Governor and members of the Legislature about policy and social issues affecting women and girls in the state.
SAFE Advisory Board
The Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner Advisory Board helps provide input and support to the statewide SAFE program. This includes planning and preparation for the twice-yearly SAFE trainings, other trainings such as a 4-hour in-service and a Mock Trial, and brainstorming ideas for quarterly SAFE meetings and training for all current SAFEs or SAFEs-in-training.
State Planning Team
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention established the Rape Prevention Education Grant in 2001, which supports the primary prevention of sexual violence. RPE in Maine has two primary goals: to increase the proportion of programming which is based on principles of effective prevention strategies, and to improve prevention program evaluation infrastructure and capacity. This work is supported by the State Planning Team, which consists of local prevention educators and statewide experts in public health and prevention. The SPT provides guidance, leadership, and long-range planning for the RPE grant, and is facilitated by MECASA.
Ad Hoc or Temporary Groups
We also represent MECASA member centers at a number of shorter-term groups, such as legislative study groups, and groups focused on specific sexual violence-related issues.