Each of North Carolina’s rape crisis centers functions as a service hub for all of its community’s survivors. Rape crisis centers are increasing their awareness of expanding those services to reach their communities’ most vulnerable and marginalized members -- those who face physical, cultural, and societal barriers to accessing relevant, sensitized care. When working with incarcerated survivors, barriers may be physical, involving limited access to privacy, calls, letters, and visits. Other barriers may also include structural issues such as institutional hierarchy and bureaucracy or prison culture norms, or societal bias against people who have been incarcerated.
Survivors may have experience sexual abuse or assault prior to becoming incarcerated; in fact, much has been written about the “Trauma to Prison Pipeline,” and more research is coming out about the “Sexual Abuse to Prison Pipeline.” Survivors also might have experienced sexual violence, sometimes in addition to prior abuse or assault, while incarcerated. Sexual violence against incarcerated survivors might have been enacted by either other incarcerated individuals or by prison staff. Incarcerated survivors are especially vulnerable to harm given their restriction of movement and limited access to advocacy resources.
To help support our member agencies in their efforts to provide compassionate, trauma-informed, sensitized advocacy to incarcerated survivors, we have created this resource page to help get you started learning about PREA and how you can navigate its provisions in your services to incarcerated survivors. As you work through these documents, webinars, and trainings and begin to implement them into your community advocacy, feel free to reach out to NCCASA with questions or for additional support. In partnership, we can prevent sexual violence through our combined education and advocacy.
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