Times Standard (Eureka)

NCRCT supports survivors of violence

- By Heather Shelton hshelton@times-standard.com

“Know Your Nonprofits” is a weekly column in the Times-Standard that takes an in-depth look at nonprofit organizati­ons throughout Humboldt County. This week’s featured nonprofit is the North Coast Rape Crisis Team. Paula Arrowsmith­Jones, executive director, answered the following questions.

BRIEFLY DESCRIBE YOUR ORGANIZATI­ON AND ITS MISSION >>

We commit ourselves as individual­s, as a team and as community members to address all forms of oppression that underlie and promote sexualized violence. We seek to be allies to those who are marginaliz­ed by any form of oppression and to inform our work through the wisdom of survivors. To this end, we strive to provide survivor-centered, supportive services to people of all ages, genders and circumstan­ces who have been affected by sexualized violence. Further, through community partnershi­p, collaborat­ion, prevention education and activism, we seek to be an agent of change towards our vision >> “A world without violence.”

WHEN AND WHY WAS THIS NONPROFIT FOUNDED? >>

NCRCT was founded in 1972, later incorporat­ing as a 501c3 nonprofit. Our founding “mothers” saw a need to address the way in which survivors were treated at that time by systems of response and so

they set about raising awareness and raising their voices. They laid the foundation of values from which we still operate. They began as a group of dedicated volunteers doing court watches and starting a hotline. Later, funding and services expanded to what we are today, an organizati­on providing 24/7 free and confidenti­al services, working to prevent the violence in the first place and partnering with individual­s and organizati­ons who seek to end violence and support those who have been harmed, improving response systems and community support.

IS THERE ANYTHING YOU WISH MORE PEOPLE KNEW ABOUT THE ORGANIZATI­ON OR THE ISSUES THIS NONPROFIT IS TRYING TO SOLVE? » We would like the community to know that we are here and available, serving both Humboldt and Del Norte counties from our offices in Eureka and Crescent City, as well as an auxiliary office on the HSU (Humboldt State University) campus. We would also like people to know that as well as survivors, we are here to serve and support their significan­t others as well as profession­als and community members through our interventi­on services as well as trainings and community prevention and awareness programs which we provide for children, teens and adults.

WHERE DOES MOST OF THE NONPROFIT’S FUNDING COME FROM? » Most of our funding comes from grants, primarily federal dollars through the Victims

of Crime and Violence Against Women Acts. We also have funding from local foundation­s such as HAF (Humboldt Area Foundation), do fundraisin­g and seek donations. Donations from community members are greatly appreciate­d for supporting direct services as well as being an encouragem­ent from knowing that the community knows they have a stake in this.

HOW CAN PEOPLE GET INVOLVED WITH YOUR ORGANIZATI­ON? » People can get involved by visiting our website at ncrct.org or our Facebook and Instagram. They can work with our board or consider becoming a board member, with informatio­n available on our website. They also can support our work through donations. The most important way people can get involved is to become allies to survivors of all ages, genders, background­s or circumstan­ces, letting every survivor know that it is not their fault or responsibi­lity that someone harmed them.

TELL ME ABOUT A FEW OF YOUR ORGANIZATI­ON’S RECENT ACCOMPLISH­MENTS » We have been able to provide 24-hour services throughout COVID, maintainin­g a full staff, expanding virtual services, maintainin­g in-person services and successful­ly obtaining additional funding in order to purchase remote equipment to allow improved access to virtual services.

We have strengthen­ed partnershi­ps through collaborat­ion with tribal, non-government­al and government­al agencies in order to better serve survivors and their families, addressing child abuse; sexual harassment, abuse

and assault; intimate partner violence; stalking; and traffickin­g.

We have been able to offer emergency shelter and other services in Del Norte County and in Southern Humboldt through two specialize­d grants we were granted. Both of these assist, in particular, traffickin­g victims as well as those experienci­ng domestic and sexual violence.

WHAT CHALLENGES HAS THE PANDEMIC CREATED FOR YOUR ORGANIZATI­ON AND HOW HAS THE NONPROFIT DEALT WITH THOSE CHALLENGES? » Many barriers, primarily with access, which we have successful­ly faced and overcome in most ways. The biggest impact of COVID perhaps has been the sense of real isolation. This has created a barrier in terms of reporting or seeking services, especially for children. The pandemic also impacted the ways in which we could accompany people to law enforcemen­t interviews, medical exams and other services and impacted the ways in which we could safely transport individual­s. It has greatly reduced sheltering options, requiring us to be very creative in seeking assistance for those in need and, especially in Del Norte County, we have been able to offer emergency shelter and other assistance through the generosity of a grant with the city of Crescent City.

WHAT’S THE BEST WAY FOR PEOPLE TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT YOUR NONPROFIT ORGANIZATI­ON? » Check out our webpage, Facebook and Instagram accounts. Throughout April, look for our displays and posters, watch for our print, online and on-air advertisem­ents.

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