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At the onset of COVID-19, the Sexual Violence Center’s (SVC) primary goal was to keep serving victims/survivors of sexual assault because we understood the potential effects of a pandemic on individuals that were already working through their journey of healing would be further compounded. As
many businesses rushed to the decision to suspend operations and reduce their workforces, SVC decided to go into another direction, which included developing new and innovative ways to offer our support services.
Six weeks into our new “normal”, SVC realized that we were not able to fully serve those who needed services the most. Our new innovative virtual services created greater gaps in our service delivery. While our crisis calls increased about 30% over the first six weeks, our virtual services, support groups, and
individual peer counseling services were going underutilized.
Additionally impacted was our systems change work, which focuses on improving the response of systems to victims/survivors of sexual assault. With many of our systems partners tending to the urgent needs of COVID-19, we were met with challenges in engaging in collaboration efforts. SVC began to recognize that our current volunteer pool could not be fully utilized during this time and the need to pause our recruitment and training effort needed to be addressed. Our work with youth was just beginning in early 2020 and there was still a lot of groundwork that needed to happen that could not because many of the programs and schools serving youth had suspended services.
As a result, I made one of the hardest decisions that I have had to make during my time here at SVC. I made the decision to do a reduction in the workforce. Effective May 28, 2020, the following positions have been eliminated until further notice: Director of Systems Change, Volunteer Service Manager, and Youth Advocate.
Over the next few months, SVC will be working with our staff, Board and a project manager to develop a new model of service delivery. We would appreciate your understanding and support during this challenging time. We will revamp our programs and come out of this stronger than before COVID19. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me directly, 612-871-5100 ext.16.