The Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault (MOCSA)

A Boy In The Program Photo Roy Inman Photographs

A young boy who benefits from the MOCSA program. // Photo by Roy Inman Photographs, courtesy of MOCSA

Sexual abuse can happen to anyone—a neighbor, a brother or sister, a cousin’s friend. It crosses all boundaries, socioeconomic status, age, and gender. There is no discrimination in abuse. It happens right here, in Kansas City, every single day. More than 80 percent of sexual violence is committed by someone the victim knows, not by a stranger. The impacts can be devastating, not only for the victims, but also for their friends and loved ones.

The Metropolitan Organization to Counter Sexual Assault (MOCSA) was founded in 1975 and their 24-hour crisis line, free-of-charge counseling, and advocacy services are available to residents across all six counties in the Kansas City metro. They also offer community education programs and work with elementary, middle, and high school students in more than 30 local school districts.

A Girl In The Program Photo Roy Inman Photographs.jpg

A young girl plays with a pinwheel. // Photo by Roy Inman Photographs, courtesy of MOCSA

Before the pandemic, kids would walk into MOCSA for the first time with a lot of emotions. They might feel angry, worried, confused, or hurt. But then they see the bright toys in the playroom, the friendly faces of our skilled therapists and staff, they see the sparkling trail of glitter on the carpet from the art therapy room and down the hall, and they start to feel comfortable and they start to open up. But things are different now, and children are at home with all those same feelings and nowhere to go. MOCSA has now shifted counseling to telehealth video or phone sessions with children and families. Art and play therapy requires more flexibility and creativity in this format, but it’s still possible and therapists are still witnessing children’s resilience and healing.

Night Out with MOCSA is an annual fundraising event that typically includes a night of festivities, cocktails, and an auction. This year, to help keep our community safe and healthy, the event is going virtual on August 28th and it’s shifting from a Night Out into a Night In with MOCSA! Here are ways you can support survivors and be a part of the event:

Become a sponsor. Various levels available and all sponsors receive a house party package along with other benefits.

Buy raffle tickets. Get one ticket for $25 or five tickets for $100. You might win a set of AirPods Pro.

Donate to the silent auction. Art, home goods, experience packages, and gift cards are needed.

Donate money. A $25 dollar donation could fund one month of virtual therapy software for one MOCSA counselor so that kids and adult survivors can access the vital therapy services they need to heal from sexual abuse or assault while being safe at home during the COVID pandemic.

Graphic For The Event No Credit

I am a survivor of sexual assault. A few years ago, a friend of mine recommended I check out MOCSA because they provide counseling services free of charge to all survivors of sexual violence and their families. I put it off. I was good at just pushing things down into my gut and if they resurfaced, I would cry about it, curl up in a ball, and shove it back down again. Seemed to work for me, until it didn’t.

When I walked through the doors at MOCSA the first time, I was beyond anxious. I sat in a waiting room with kids and adults, knowing some sick asshole did something terrible to each of us. I waited for my therapist to come to the door and make small talk. And then we would get into it. Cue the feelings, anger, and tears. I went through it all. But every time I walked through those doors, it got easier.

Art From A Child In The Program No Credit

MOCSA was a safe space I could go every week and chat with someone who believed me, listened to me, and guided me to work through what I needed to start the healing. You might be like me and are really good at pushing everything into your throat and stomach for it to live there and feast on you. I promise you in the long run, this will eat you from the inside out. In your own time, I hope you find the strength to pick up the phone and set up a free appointment at 816-531-0233.

Categories: Culture