NYSCASA Monthly Digest – May 2019

In this issue of NYSCASA’s Monthly Digest:

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.


Take Back the Night in Albany

Last month, NYSCASA staff participated in the community tabling event at Take Back the Night in Albany, organized by the Albany County Crime Victim and Sexual Violence Center. More than 200 people attended Take Back the Night this year, which featured a community tabling event, survivor speak out, a march, and a vigil in front of the Washington Park Play House.


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.

New Resource: 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 and sexual violence programs that provide EIE programming can access exclusive resources, including a community forum.

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

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.

Legislative News

NYSCASA’s Statement on FY2020 State Budget

As an organization dedicated to ending sexual violence and all forms of oppression, the New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault (NYSCASA) thanks Governor Cuomo, Assembly Speaker Heastie, Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins and the New York State legislature for ensuring there were no funding cuts for the rape crisis programs in the FY2020 New York State Budget. With the increased demand for services, programs need additional funding and can’t afford any funding cuts. In addition, we appreciate the fact that there was some progress made as it relates to rape shield protections for victims of sex trafficking. We must do all we can to support victims of sexual violence.

For additional information and comments, please contact Selena Bennett-Chambers, Public Policy Director, at sbennett-chambers@nyscasa.org.

Black Maternal Health Week

Last month, Governor Andrew Cuomo issued a proclamation recognizing April 11–17, 2019, as Black Maternal Health Week. The governor announced that the Enacted 2019-20 Budget includes an $8 million investment to support initiatives recommended over the last year by the New York State Taskforce on Maternal Mortality and Disparate Racial Outcomes. Black Maternal Health Week is an initiative created by the Black Mamas Matter Alliance, a Black women-led cross-sectoral alliance to advocate for Black maternal health, rights and justice. Black Maternal Health Week is an opportunity to engage in the national conversation on Black maternal health policy, research and the reproductive and birth justice movements.

New York’s Bail Reform Law: Major Components and Implications

In April 2019, New York State passed sweeping criminal justice legislation, strictly curtailing the use of cash bail and pretrial detention, overhauling rules governing the sharing of evidence, and strengthening measures intended to ensure a defendant’s right to a speedy trial. The measures go into effect in January 2020. The Center for Court Innovation’s summary explores the potential implications of the reforms to the use of bail.

VAWA Reauthorization Passed in the US House of Representatives

On April 4, the US House of Representatives passed H.R. 1585, the bipartisan Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA) of 2019, by a vote of 263-158. The legislation includes new provisions that restrict gun ownership and expand the rights of Indigenous and transgender survivors of domestic and sexual violence.

The US Senate has yet to introduce a VAWA reauthorization bill with the provisions included in H.R. 1585. Take action: Urge the Senate to pass VAWA.

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.

May 3: Webinar on Serving Students with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Join the NYS Training and Technical Assistance Center for a webinar with Kat Pheysey, LMSW, M. Ed., entitled “Serving Students with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Part II: Practical Applications.”

It is critical that we actively consider how to adapt our primary prevention trainings, as well as our direct service work, to be inclusive and accessible to neuro-divergent communities. This event is Part II of a two-part webinar series intended to educate providers on working with communities with ID/DD.

Part I answered foundational questions, including: what intellectual and developmental disabilities are and how they might present; myths and facts about sexuality and this community; and laws surrounding consent for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Catch up on Part I here.

Part II will address: recommendations for serving students with ID/DD in the college setting; successful methods for working with this population in a prevention context; and what to do when a sexual assault occurs to someone in this community. Register to attend Part II here.

May 8: Webinar on Engaging Male Students in SV/DV Prevention

Join the NYS Training and Technical Assistance Center for a webinar with Tiffany Brec (Vera House Inc.), entitled “COLLEGE S.W.A.A.P. – Students With Awareness and Purpose: Engaging the Spectrum of Male Students,” on May 8, 2019, at 1:00 PM.

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.

Register for this webinar here.

Upcoming Non-NYSCASA Events

Are you planning an event that you would like NYSCASA to share? Email cmiller@nyscasa.org or submit your event information here: www.nyscasa.org/calendar/submit-an-event.

May 6–12: #FreeBlackMamas

From May 6 through May 12, the National Bail Out is coordinating #FreeBlackMamas, a nationwide effort to bail Black mothers and caregivers  out of jail so they can be with their families on Mother’s Day. Follow along on social media using the hashtag #FreeBlackMamas.

May 14: NYSCADV Legislative Day of Action (Albany, NY)

On May 14, join the New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence and a dynamic and engaged group of advocates, survivors and allies from across New York State in raising our voices and relaying a unified message to the Legislature and Governor: We need to pass meaningful legislation to ensure survivors of domestic violence receive the support they need, and we must re-envision domestic violence funding so no one who is asking for shelter or other services is ever turned away.

Register for NYSCADV’s Legislative Day of Action here.

In-Person Training Opportunities

Job Opportunities


New Resource: Announcing the New York State Trauma-Informed Network

In 2016, the New York State Office of Mental Health and Coordinated Care Services, Inc. (CCSI) convened trauma-informed care champions from around the state to connect and collaborate with one another. As a result, through funding made available from the NYS Office of Mental Health, CCSI, Inc. has announced the launch of a new virtual network to enhance resources, collaboration and communication among individuals and agencies implementing trauma-responsive practices. The New York State Trauma-Informed Network connects advocates of trauma-responsive practices and systems to provide access to quality resources and foster communication. The information found on the website is applicable for all ages and takes a cross-sector focus to support to support integrated care from a trauma-informed, trauma-sensitive lens.


Web Resources

  • NYS OVS Compensation Training Series: A new series of training videos from OVS designed for advocates and other professionals who assist individuals and families with obtaining services, support, and financial assistance in the aftermath of violence.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Healing Trauma: A new resource from Jane Doe, Inc., for advocates, service providers, policymakers, and anyone interested in deepening their understanding of the impact of individual, vicarious, and historical trauma and oppression and how to foster resilience.
  • TransformHarmorg: 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. For more information, call our office at 518-482-4222 or visit www.nyscasa.org/volunteers2019.

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.