(September 18, 2014). This year the Bluegrass Rape Crisis Center (BRCC) is celebrating its 40th anniversary. In conjunction with its anniversary, the Center is honoring individuals who have demonstrated unparalleled commitment to eradicate sexual violence in Central Kentucky.
Among the honorees is Carol E. Jordan, executive director of the Office for Policy Studies on Violence Against Women in the College of Arts & Sciences. “Carol has been a critical voice in our state's efforts to address violence against women for the past 30 years. Her leadership has paved the way for anti-violence agencies like the BRCC to more effectively impact, support, and protect survivors of sexual violence” said Mae Suramek, executive director of the Bluegrass Rape Crisis Center in explaining why Jordan was selected for the award.
As an award recipient, Jordan was asked to share her perspective on community response to sexual assault. She said, “We will end sexual violence in our Commonwealth on the day and in the moment when every person understands that the fight to end its destruction is not just a burden for others to bear; that the fight is to be shouldered by us all. The question is less what each person must contribute, but when they will begin to do it.”
Jordan has over 30 years of experience in public policy, legislative advocacy, research and writing, and the development of programs addressing intimate partner violence, rape and stalking. In 1985, she began work in the state Department for Mental Health where she led the increase of rape crisis centers in Kentucky from three to the current total of 13. In 1996 she was recruited by Governor Paul E. Patton to serve as the founding executive director for the Governor’s Office of Child Abuse and Domestic Violence Services, a position she held for eight years. During her time in the Governor’s Office, funding for the rape crisis centers increased by 129%.
Following her time in the Governor’s Office, Jordan came to UK and now serves as the founding executive director of the University of Kentucky Office for Policy Studies on Violence Against Women in the College of Arts & Sciences. She holds faculty appointments in the Department of Psychology and the Department of Psychiatry. Before assuming her current position, she served for ten years as founding director of the UK Center for Research on Violence Against Women at the university. Jordan also serves as a Senior Policy Consultant for the Kentucky Domestic Violence Association (state association of battered women’s shelters) and the Kentucky Association of Sexual Assault Programs (state association of rape crisis centers).
Jordan has authored three books, eight book chapters and over 40 peer reviewed articles on violence against women, particularly focusing on civil and criminal justice issues related to rape, domestic violence, and stalking; the victimization of college women; and the history of legislative reform on violence against women. Jordan has managed grants totaling more than $3.5 million and since coming to UK has built a $6 million research endowment on violence against women for the university. Additionally, she has created a Women’s Empowerment Scholarship to aid abuse survivors in accessing higher education as a tool for overcoming the experience of violence.
Jordan has been recognized nationally with the Paul H. Chapman Award from the National Foundation for the Improvement of Justice and by the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center. She has also received awards from the Kentucky Domestic Violence Association, the Kentucky Association of Sexual Assault Program, the Kentucky Mental Health Coalition, the Kentucky Psychological Association, and the Kentucky General Assembly for her work. In 2005, she was honored with the Sarah Bennett Holmes Award for Outstanding Contributions On Behalf of Women by the UK and in 2012 she received the William E. Lyons Award for Outstanding Service from UK’s Martin School of Public Policy and Administration and the Department of Political Science. In 2010 she was awarded a Presidential Proclamation by Texas A&M University, and in 2013 she received the Woman’s Legacy Award from the university for her work on behalf of women.
Founded in 1974, the mission of The Bluegrass Rape Crisis Center is to eradicate sexual violence through counseling, advocacy and education in the 17 counties of the Bluegrass Region. As the designated regional rape crisis center, BRCC provides unique and comprehensive services to individuals directly or indirectly impacted by all forms of sexual violence, including human trafficking. BRCC services include: a 24-hour crisis line, crisis counseling, medical accompaniment, legal advocacy, group counseling, long-term psychotherapy, consultation, information & referral services, prevention education for a wide variety of groups, and in-service trainings for area professionals. Victims in need of emergency services can contact the BRCC 24-hours a day at 1.800.656.4673. For additional information about the BRCC, contact http://bluegrassrapecrisis.org/.