Sexual Violence in Maryland
Thousands of Marylanders are affected by sexual violence each year. About one in five (or 466,000) adult women have been forcibly raped. One in six (or 359,000) adult men have experienced sexual violence at some point in their lives (NISVS
Sexual violence is connected to other forms of violence. This increases the chances that survivors will be abused again. There are shared risk and protective factors linking many forms of violence. For example, a teen who was abused as a child is at higher risk to commit or experience sexual violence later in life. Multiple forms of violence can be prevented at the same time. You can find more information about sexual violence here.
About the Rape and Sexual Assault Prevention Program (RSAPP)
RSAPP leads Maryland’s primary prevention efforts to reduce sexual violence. RSAPP supports projects that aim to reduce sexual violence in Maryland by providing resources and training. RSAPP uses data to identify populations, programs, and partners.
RSAPP and its partners evaluate programs and activities to see how well they work. RSAPP works with partners and evaluators to collect and report data. RSAPP tracks data related to sexual violence and related factors, such as social norms and community connectedness.
RSAPP works with many partners in prevention, including state agencies, non-profit organizations, colleges, and businesses. RSAPP supports programs that use the best available evidence. Specific programs and partners are outlined below.
Partners in Prevention
RSAPP’s partners play an important role in preventing sexual violence. Programs and partners include:
- Rape Crisis and Recovery Centers: With the Governor's Office of Crime Prevention, Youth, and Victim Services (GOCPYVS), RSAPP supports several rape crisis and recovery centers to prevent sexual violence in their communities. This includes social norms change, bystander intervention, working with youth, changing organizations, and changing the built environment.
- Statewide Coalition-building: The Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault, Inc. (MCASA) is a statewide organization to end sexual assault. MCASA builds a prevention coalition with partners across the state. They work to shift norms so violence is unacceptable and create a culture of consequences for sexual violence. MCASA works with schools, colleges, rape crisis and recovery centers, and other partners to accomplish this.
- College-based Sexual Assault Prevention: These programs engage students on campus. Participating colleges hold activities such as bystander intervention, working with young men, improving policies, and changing the campus environment.
- Maryland Women of Color Network (WOCN): Maryland WOCN, a program of MCASA, holds an annual conference supported by RSAPP. The conference brings together professionals and community leaders to share best practices. The conference also builds cultural competency so survivors of color feel supported when seeking help.
- Supporting Survivors: RSAPP supports counseling services, hotline services, and advocacy services provided by rape crisis and recovery centers. To find your local center in Maryland, visit MCASA’s webpage.
- Forensic Nurse Training: RSAPP supports training for nurses to conduct sexual assault forensic exams. For a list of Sexual Assault Forensic Exam (SAFE) programs in Maryland, go here.
Get Involved (RISEMD)
RISEMD is a statewide Alliance coordinated by RSAPP. RISEMD addresses the prevention of sexual violence, intimate partner violence, stalking, and child sexual abuse in Maryland. Prevention training is provided and resources are shared with the group. RISEMD members share important feedback to RSAPP. This feedback is used to guide future projects and activities.