NYSCASA Monthly Digest – April 2019

In this issue of NYSCASA’s Monthly Digest: NYSCASA’s Survivor Survey, announcing the New York State Training and Technical Assistance Center, community announcements, legislative news, and upcoming events, including Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and find out how to get involved.

Do you have news, announcements, or events that you would like NYSCASA to share in our Monthly Digest? Email submissions to Chelsea R. Miller, Communications Director, at cmiller@nyscasa.org.




Resource Alert: The New York State Training and Technical Assistance Center

The NYS Training and Technical Assistance Center provides training and technical assistance for rape crisis and sexual violence programs who work with victims and survivors of sexual violence in New York State, with a focus on providing support on “Enough is Enough” (EIE) programming. Staff and volunteers at rape crisis and sexual violence programs that provide EIE programming can access exclusive resources, including a community forum.

The New York State Center for Training and Technical Assistance was established through a joint partnership between the New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault (the Alliance) and the New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault (NYSCASA), which supports the efforts of Rape Crisis and Sexual Violence Programs (RCSVPs) to deliver quality sexual violence prevention and response services. The New York State Center for Training and Technical Assistance is funded by the New York State Department of Health through the Federal Preventative Health and Health Service Block Grant.

For additional information about the NYS Training and Technical Assistance Center, please contact Dally M. Sanchez, Technical Assistance Director, at dsanchez@nyscasa.org.


NYSCASA’s Survivor Survey

Do you live in the State of New York and identify as a victim or survivor of sexual violence? Please complete NYSCASA’s Survivor Survey.

We are collecting this information to learn more about how survivors are experiencing various systems in the state of New York. We also want survivors to have a space to share their stories and to decide how they may want to engage in some of our efforts to prevent and respond to sexual violence.

For additional information about NYSCASA’s Survivor Survey, please contact Selena Bennett Chambers, Public Policy Director, at sbennett-chambers@nyscasa.org.


Community News


Research Study Participation Request

Participants are needed for a research study examining how women make sense of their experience of sexual assault and manage their recovery. If you are a woman aged 18 years or older and have experienced one or more incidents of unwanted sexual contact as an adult (i.e., when you were 16 years or older), you are eligible to participate. Your responses to the survey items will be kept confidential. The online survey takes approximately 20-30 minutes to complete. Please click this link connect to the consent form and questionnaire: https://utk.questionpro.com/t/AOlnIZc5aL

To thank you for your participation, you may enter an optional drawing awarding a $25 gift card to 20 randomly selected persons. This research protocol has been reviewed and approved by the Institutional Review Board for protection of human subjects at the University of Tennessee UTK IRB-18-04792-XP, expiration 11/06/2019.

If you have questions or comments at any time about this research project, you may contact the researcher, Lauren Hamrick, at lhamrick@vols.utk.edu, or her faculty advisor, Dr. Gina Owens, at gowens4@utk.edu.


Request SUNY’s Got Your Back Comfort Bags

Every day, adults and children across the State of New York seek services from rape crisis programs and domestic violence shelters, hospitals and law enforcement after crimes of violence. With the help of the New York State Office of Victim Services, the State University of New York launched SUNY’s Got Your Back in 2016 to provide victims and survivors with bags filled with comfort items, a pen and notebook, and important information about available resources.

Any New York State rape crisis or domestic violence program, hospital or related medical provider, or law enforcement agency may request comfort bags in intervals of 50 at tinyurl.com/gotyourbackrequests. Organizations wishing to request more than 1,000 bags at a time may do so by emailing gotyourback@suny.edu.

Bags are delivered to service providers by program staff at no cost. Pursuant to the terms of the Victims of Crime Act, information about recipients must be submitted in aggregate only (no personally identifiable information or case information is submitted) to track general information about recipients.

You can learn more about the program at www.suny.edu/gotyourback.


NYS Legislative News


Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act Passed in NYS Assembly and Senate

After over 10 years of organizing by advocates and currently and formerly incarcerated survivors, the Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act (DVSJA) (S1077/A3974) passed in the New York State Assembly on March 4, 2019, and in the New York Senate on March 12, 2019.

The DVSJA would allow judges to sentence survivors to shorter prison terms and, in some cases, community-based alternative-to-incarceration programs instead of prison, and provide survivors currently in prison the opportunity to apply for resentencing. The bill contains protections to ensure appropriate use of this discretion. Eligibility is limited to those who were survivors who were living with abuse at the time of the offense, and resentencing is limited to those confined to DOCCS who are serving sentences of eight years or more.

NYSCASA applauds the tireless work of the Coalition for Women Prisoners, STEPS to End Family Violence, Katal Center for Health, Equity, and Justice, and all other organizations and individuals for their advocacy and organizing.

The bill is on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s desk awaiting his signature. The Governor expressed his commitment to advancing the DVSJA in his 2019 State of the State Address.


NYS Domestic and Sexual Violence Hotline Now Available in All State Prisons

On March 19, 2019, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the state’s domestic and sexual violence hotline is now available to incarcerated individuals throughout the state prison system, providing crisis counseling, as well as access to support, additional counseling and advocacy for individuals who are victims or survivors of sexual assault or harassment.

Joanne Zannoni, Executive Director of the New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault, says, “We are heartened by the efforts and commitment of so many who have made the statewide hotline a reality. The hotline represents another step on our journey to ensuring access to services for all sexual assault victims who are incarcerated.”

NYSCASA extends much gratitude to the PREA centers providing critical support to incarcerated survivors in New York: Crisis Services (Erie County), Crime Victims Treatment Center (Manhattan), RESTORE (Monroe County), Safe Harbors of the Finger Lakes, Inc. (Ontario, Seneca, Yates counties), The Sexual Assault and Crime Victims Assistance Program at Samaritan Hospital (Rensselaer County), and Victim Assistance Services at WestCOP (Westchester County).

For more information about NYSCASA’s role in implementing PREA standards in New York, read more here or contact E. Bjorkman, PREA Outreach Director, at ebjorkman@nyscasa.org.


Upcoming NYSCASA Events


Save the Date: NYSCASA’s 2020 Conference

The New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault invites you to our 2020 conference, to be held June 4–6, 2020. Location, speakers, and additional details to be announced.

Save the Date: Webinar on Engaging Men in SV/DV Prevention

Please mark your calendars for this upcoming webinar presented by the NYS Training and Technical Assistance Center. Tiffany Brec, Campus Project Coordinator for Vera House, Inc., will join us for a webinar entitled, “COLLEGE S.W.A.A.P. – Students With Awareness And Purpose: Engaging the Spectrum of Male Students.”

The importance of engaging men in the prevention of domestic and sexual violence is now becoming a much more widely understood idea, yet those doing this work still face challenges and struggles to reach out to and maintain men’s engagement with the issues. This webinar will provide skills and tools for those doing violence prevention work on engaging with men. The webinar will review ways to strategize and communicate messaging, barriers for men in engagement, what true engagement looks like, and successful strategies for engaging men.

This webinar will be held on May 8, 2019, at 1:00 PM. Registration information to come.

Visit NYSCASA’s Calendar to see more events.


Upcoming Non-NYSCASA Events


April 2019: Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) is a campaign to raise public awareness about sexual violence and educate communities on how to prevent it. The campaign theme, “I Ask,” champions the message that asking for consent is a healthy, normal, and necessary part of everyday interactions.

Are you organizing an event for SAAM that you would like NYSCASA to add to our calendar? Please submit information about your event using this form.

SAAM Resources from the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC):

Upcoming SAAM Events:

Visit NYSCASA’s Calendar to see more events.


Save the Date: NYSCADV Legislative Day of Action (Albany, NY)

On May 14, join a vibrant, diverse and innovative group of advocates and allies from across New York State to raise our voices and relay a unified message to the Legislature and Governor: it’s time to pass meaningful legislation to protect survivors of domestic violence in New York State. Registration and additional information to come.



Visit NYSCASA’s Calendar to see more events.

In-Person Training

Visit NYSCASA’s Calendar to see more events.


Visit NYSCASA’s Calendar to see more events.


Funding Opportunities






Resource Alert: Strengthening Tribal Response to Violence Against Native Women Initiative

The Strengthening Tribal Response to Violence Against Native Women Initiative provides training, technical assistance and resources for tribal governments and programs that do not currently have Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) grant funding. The goal of the initiative is to enhance victim services and assist tribal criminal justice systems to more effectively address victim safety and offender accountability.


What We’re Reading:






Web Resources

  • NYS Training and Technical Assistance Center: provides training and technical assistance to community-based rape crisis and sexual violence programs in New York State, with a focus on providing support on ‘Enough-is-Enough’ programming.
  • BlackWomenToo: Mapping Violence Against Black Women: an interactive site that visualizes the systems that put Black women’s minds and bodies at risk, created by Color Of Change.
  • org: A resource hub about ending violence that offers an introduction to transformative justice, created by Mariame Kaba.
  • ACEs Connection: An online platform for child health providers, child care providers, mental health professionals, and community based organizations to come together to promote a more trauma–informed community and improve outcomes for children.



Your support helps NYSCASA improve response to sexual assault survivors and strengthen prevention efforts across New York State. Donations are tax–deductible.

If you are interested in volunteering or serving as an intern, please visit our website for information.

Volunteer at NYSCASA!

NYSCASA is currently seeking volunteers to assist with our Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) Project. We are looking for individuals who are able to volunteer at our office in Albany, NY, within the hours of 8AM-5PM Monday-Thursday. Click here to read more about the project.

Please submit your resume to jzannoni@nyscasa.org or call our office at 518-482-4222 to get more information. All are encouraged to apply!

Join the NYSCASA Board of Directors

NYSCASA is seeking candidates for its Board of Directors. We are interested in candidates from all regions of New York State who have knowledge and skills in: nonprofit management; organizational planning; fund raising; finance; personnel management; legal matters; or public relations. We are looking for candidates who are prepared to: raise funds; support the executive director; engage in Board and organizational development, including long–term planning; ensure the agency’s legal and ethical integrity and maintain accountability; and donate to the agency. For more information or to apply, please contact Sam Mitchell at smitchell@nyscasa.org or 518–482–4222 x311.

 Get Help

If you have been sexually assaulted, call the New York State Hotline for Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence.


 Find Crisis Centers

Search our program directory to find a rape crisis center in your area.


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