For over 35 years, MECASA has represented and served Maine’s sexual assault support centers. MECASA works toward ending sexual violence through:
- Initiating and advocating for victim-centered public policy;
- Providing expert training, technical assistance, and resources for providers and partners;
- Funding sexual assault service providers; and
- Informing conversations about sexual violence.
MECASA’s work spans a range of programming and partnerships to bring the voices of Maine’s sexual assault support centers and the victims/survivors they serve to statewide and national sexual violence prevention and response efforts.
For an overview of MECASA’s Fiscal Year 2019 work, take a look at our latest annual report.
MECASA initiates and advocates for victim-centered public policy which ensures access to services, holds offenders accountable for their crimes, and works toward evidence-based sexual violence prevention. Some of this work is done through engaging on statewide policy committees, such as the Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner Advisory Board and the Maine Commission on Domestic and Sexual Abuse, some by engaging with state agencies as they develop protocols or training, and sometimes it is accomplished through the legislative process. We engage in each of these areas, and during the legislative session we work with legislators and legislative committees to support effective and evidence-based public policy on issues related to sexual violence.
Expert Technical Assistance & Support
One of MECASA’s most important roles is to provide resources to help sexual assault support center staff in the critical work they do everyday in Maine. MECASA staff members support direct service staff with a range of research and resources, reach out to other state or national providers for additional resources and support, or simply help to brainstorm solutions to the challenges providers face. In addition to the support they provide Maine’s sexual assault support centers, MECASA staff also provide a significant amount of assistance and support to statewide and national partners on a range of issues, including human trafficking response, media engagement, and innovative primary prevention practices.
Representing Member Centers
MECASA staff members represent member centers at numerous statewide committees and leadership groups such as the SAFE Advisory Board, the Maine Commission on Domestic Violence and Sexual Abuse, and the Maine Criminal Justice Academy Board of Trustees. See our Statewide Coalition Building page for a full list of committees, their missions, and how our work is connected.
MECASA staff works with state agencies to pass through some of the funding that supports direct service provision and prevention efforts, and maintains accounting and federal and state reporting on behalf of member centers.
Changing the Conversation
MECASA staff engages in changing the conversation about sexual violence in a variety of ways, including working with Maine media to ensure quality reporting on sexual violence, generating content published by Maine media outlets, engaging in social media platforms, and providing technical assistance and support to member centers to do the same. MECASA also provides training for media on reporting on sexual violence, as well as to advocates on working with their local media outlets. Our human trafficking media packet and general sexual violence media packet can be found on our MECASA Resources page.
MECASA staff provide specific technical assistance and resource development in specialized program areas where we have developed expertise to address emerging issues in Maine: the Maine Network of Children's Advocacy Centers, the Maine Sex Trafficking & Exploitation Network, and the Children's Safety Partnership. For more information on these programs, see Our Programs page.