Rachel Sandle-SaccoPrevention Educator & Victim Advocate, YWCA of the Niagara Frontier
Rachel Sandle-Sacco is the Sexual Violence Prevention Educator and Coordinator of the Rape Crisis Program at the YWCA of the Niagara Frontier in Lockport, NY. In addition to providing rape crisis intervention for survivors who present at local area hospitals, Rachel is responsible for community mobilization and education around sexual violence prevention.
Rachel believes in the power of preventing sexual violence by engaging and empowering community partners in the work. Her current project focuses on more comprehensive, age-appropriate sexual education that engages youth and their influential adults on the issues of consent, healthy relationships, and bystander intervention. She teaches youth how to be active bystanders when they witness someone who needs help, giving them the tools necessary to feel confident responding to a peer in crisis. Rachel implements evidence-based programming on these topics at local K-12 schools, as well as college campuses in Niagara County. She also provides trauma-informed disclosure training to the faculty, staff, counselors, security, coaches, athletes, and student leaders of these schools/campuses.
Along with educating the youth in her county and coordinating the Rape Crisis program, she also continues to advocate for sexual assault survivors by responding to the four area hospitals to help clients one on one. She is an empathetic support system to aid survivors, many whom present at the hospital alone. She helps advocate on their behalf for appropriate treatment with the medical staff as well as law enforcement, & connects them with counseling. She finds it very important to empower her clients who are usually women ages 13-24.
To foster a shared sense of responsibility and accountability among community members, Rachel organizes an annual Walk a Mile awareness event, arranges survivor art installations on local college campuses, and sits on the Niagara County Sexual Assault Response Team, which is a local group of sexual assault first responders committed to improving survivors’ experiences and advocating for their rights to pursue healing in a manner that is meaningful to them.
Outside of her advocacy work, Rachel enjoys photography, antiquing, adventures in nature, and volunteering with a local dog rescue. She lives in Lockport, NY with her husband and 2 year old son.
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