NYSCASA Monthly Digest – March 2019

In this issue:

  • NYSCASA’s Survivor Survey
  • SUNY’s Got Your Back Comfort Bags
  • NYS Legislative News
  • Save the Date: NYSCASA’s 2020 conference
  • Upcoming events, conferences, and trainings
  • Useful reports, toolkits, and other resources
  • Find out how to support NYSCASA and 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.


Announcing 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.

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!

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.

Raising Awareness About ‘Court-Ordered Rape’

NYSCASA was contacted by a survivor who has been working with attorneys, advocates, and academics to raise awareness and bring an end to a traumatic practice referred to as ‘court-ordered rape,’ or invasive gynecological exams that survivors of sexual assault are ordered to endure in the course of proceedings against their perpetrators.

If you are a survivor who has been ordered to undergo such an exam, you can access free, confidential help by calling the New York State Hotline for Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence at 1-800-942-6906, or by reaching out to your local rape crisis program,


Sexual Violence in the News

(Content warning: These news articles contain descriptions of sexual violence.)

NYS Legislative News

Public Hearing on Sexual Harassment at the Capitol

Victims of sexual harassment and abuse by state officials and staff provided harrowing accounts of their experiences working in the Legislature as they testified before a panel of lawmakers at the Capitol on Wednesday, February 13, 2019. The hearing was largely a result of the efforts of the Sexual Harassment Working Group, which is made up of seven former legislative employees who experienced or reported sexual harassment in Albany.


Governor Cuomo Signs Child Victims Act into Law

On February 14, 2019, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed the Child Victims Act into law, extending the statute of limitations so survivors of child sexual abuse in New York State have more time to pursue criminal charges or civil suits. “This bill brings justice to people who were abused, and rights the wrongs that went unacknowledged and unpunished for too long,” said Gov. Cuomo. Read more here.


Governor Cuomo Announces Expansion of Assistance for Victims of Domestic Violence and Hate Crimes

New legislation expanding assistance available for victims of hate crimes and certain other crimes often associated with domestic violence who were not physically injured during the crime is now in effect. The new law allows these individuals to apply for reimbursement of shelter costs and crime scene cleanup expenses from the New York State Office of Victim Services. Read more here.

For more information about services offered by the Office of Victim Services, including eligibility guidelines, visit www.ovs.ny.gov or call 1-800-247-8035.


A New Bill to End “Severe or Pervasive” Standard in Sexual Harassment Cases

On Monday, February 25, 2019, Assemblywoman Nily Rozic and Brooklyn state Senator Andrew Gounardes introduced legislation that would end the use of the “severe or pervasive” standard in determining sexual harassment cases. The new legislation would clarify and define what constitutes sexual harassment, strengthening current sexual harassment laws for victims of sexual harassment, regardless of the level of pervasiveness or severity of the alleged conduct.

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.

Upcoming Non–NYSCASA Events

Beyond the Border Wall: The Spatial, Racial, and Sexual Mapping of Seen and Unseen Women Migrants (Brooklyn, NY)

The Museum of Women’s Resistance, an International Site of Conscience, invites you to sojourn through the spatial, cultural, sexual and digital mapping of the seen and unseen lives of women migrants, their survival and the radical and subversive reconfigurations inherent in the movement of their very bodies through the elements. The installation attempts to capture the movement and transport of the collective (un)conscious– thoughts, memories, knowledge, prayers, dreams, and evidence of exploited countries, remnants of wars waged.

With Beyond the Border Wall: The Spatial, Racial, and Sexual Mapping of Seen and Unseen Migrants, the Museum of Women’s Resistance attempts to juxtapose and trace human movements toward the US Southern border and within the US. Curated by Black Women’s Blueprint, the exhibit calls on people to pay attention the current administration’s efforts to create more physical boundaries between nation-states and communities and push back against the indignities being waged on our sisters around the world who are subject to the borders drawn across their communities, homes, and bodies.

An opening reception will be held March 4, 2019, at 6PM. RSVP here.

The exhibit will be on view through May 2019 at the Museum of Women’s Resistance, 279 Empire Blvd., Brooklyn, NY.


April 2019 is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

April, Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), will be here before we know it! This year’s theme, I Ask, centers around empowering everyone to put consent into practice. On the SAAM website, individuals, organizations, and communities can find resources like how asking for consent intersects with our digital lives and with power dynamics, as well as resources on planning eventsa campaign toolkit and social media guide, and how to get involved with #30DaysofSAAM.

Check out the NSVRC SAAM event planning blog for continual updates and resources, and be sure to register your SAAM event with NSVRC!


Take Back the Night 2019 (Albany, NY)

The Albany County Crime Victim and Sexual Violence Center invites all to attend Albany’s Take Back the Night event on Wednesday, April 17. This will be an event for community members to come together and remember and acknowledge all of those who have been affected by sexual violence and show a united front in stopping this epidemic that has effected not only our nation but our world.

The event will kick off at 5:00pm with community tabling and a musical performance by Conor Walsh and Christine Bile Music, followed by a survivor speak out and march down Lark Street and will conclude with a candlelight vigil.

Be sure to stop by NYSCASA’s table at the community tabling event!


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.




In–Person Training



Funding Opportunities






Web Resources

  • 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.
  • TransformHarm.org: A resource hub about ending violence that offers an introduction to transformative justice, created by Mariame Kaba.
  • Trauma–Informed Care Implementation Resource Center: provides resources from trauma–informed care leaders across the country to help improve patient outcomes, increase patient and staff resilience, and reduce avoidable health care service use and costs, from the Center for Health Care Strategies.
  • Human Trafficking Resource Library: includes factsheets, best practices, practical tools, and training materials, created by the Freedom Network Training Institute.
  • 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.


Resource Alert: NYSCASA’s Training Archive

Visit our website to access NYSCASA’s training archive, including:


Resource Alert: ‘Sex Talk Happy Hour’ Podcast

In this podcast hosted by the NYC Alliance Against Sexual Assault, ‘Sex Talk Happy Hour,’ hear the Alliance and their guests talk about sex, sexuality, consent, violence, gender, gender norms, and more.


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.


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.