I began my internship with RCASA this spring and will be continuing working with them for the duration of the summer. RCASA is a non-profit organization which works in Fredericksburg and the surrounding areas to provide both direct support to survivors of sexual assault and to support people indirectly impacted by sexual violence, such as friends or family. When I was searching for internships, I knew I wanted to work with an organization somehow related to my major, which is Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. I had noticed RCASA’s organization at various events in the community as well as at Mary Washington and had spoken with members of the organization a few times about their mission and goals. After learning about the various types of support they provide to survivors, I knew I was interested in working with them because I am passionate about providing this support and raising awareness about sexual violence. After seeing what internship opportunities were available on RCASA’s website, I contacted them about my interest and began the process.
The first part of my internship was dedicated to attending various trainings, meetings, and individual work in order for me to familiarize myself with the organization and what types of support we could provide to survivors and their loved ones. I have learned about the history of sexual violence, how to be trauma-informed when interacting with survivors, and how to combat common misconceptions and stigmas surrounding sexual-based trauma. My trainings also went in-depth on how to deal with special populations who have been victims of sexual violence, such as children. I have learned all about rape culture and how it can be socialized through outlets like media, as well as the negative impact these ideas can have on individuals.
My recent work with the organization has consisted of me collaborating with their outreach and education team. With this, I have been helping with their social media accounts including Instagram, Twitter, and Tiktok. I help brainstorm post ideas for all platforms, for example during the month of June we made multiple posts for PRIDE month and Juneteenth. I helped put together the graphics for posts and completed research for the post topics. In the future, I plan to assist at events in the community in order to increase awareness and community engagement. I look forward to working with RCASA in the future and am excited to see what the upcoming months hold in regard to my collaboration with the organization.