COVID-19 won’t stop our work to support survivors

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Like all of you, we have been following the constant updates and changing information regarding the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19).  We understand that this is a confusing and frustrating time, and as the safety net for sexual assault survivors in California, rape crisis centers are facing unique challenges under this State of Emergency declared by the Governor.  We are especially concerned about best practices for continuing in-person counseling services and providing hospital accompaniment for survivors receiving exams. As we closely monitor new developments and await further guidance from the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services and the California Department of Public Health, we wanted to assure you that CALCASA is actively monitoring the situation and advocating for policies that best serve survivors and staff who provide services.
During this time, CALCASA will continue our usual support of rape crisis centers and the promotion of sexual violence prevention. There will be no interruption in regularly scheduled CALCASA web conferences, and all meetings and support will be conducted via phone conference or Zoom or other online technology.  CALCASA has postponed the March 20 in-person training on Mandated Reporting and Confidentiality. We are also in touch with our national partners and statewide coalitions across the country who are all working diligently to limit any disruption of services while prioritizing the health and safety of everyone. And we will update you all as soon as we receive word from Cal OES or anyone else from the state administration on appropriate steps rape crisis centers should take to continue performing services for survivors while mitigating the spread of COVID-19.
We also will continue to advocate on behalf of sexual violence survivors everywhere, and will not back down from being a voice for our field and for our broader movement in California and beyond.  These are especially difficult times for survivors who continue to face the multiple forms of oppression and systemic inequities that result in sexual violence in the first place, and they will need our continued voice and support. Just like our work, our response to this pandemic must be driven by our values, and accordingly we will continue to assert the fundamental dignity of all people in the face of bigotry and xenophobia arising from the spread of COVID-19, and continue to be a place of support for every survivor.
Prevention: 
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your face when possible and wash your hands if you do touch your face.
  • It is okay to wear a mask as long as it does not increase touching your face.
  • Clean surfaces frequently, including countertops, light switches, cell phones, remote controls, and other frequently touched items.
  • If you are sick, stay home until you are feeling better.
Stay informed:
CDPH is providing daily updates
CDC FAQs for Health Care Providers
CDC basic information on Coronavirus

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