NYSCASA Monthly Digest – September 2019

Do you have news for NYSCASA to share in our next digest? Email submissions with “Newsletter” in the subject line to Chelsea Miller, Communications Director, at cmiller@nyscasa.org.

Coalition News


Advocates in Action

Julia DeLuca, a RESTORE​ advocate and K-12 education specialist, is the new Title IX advocate for Monroe County and the GLOW region (Genesee, Livingston, Orleans, and Wyoming counties). As an advocate, DeLuca goes into schools and talks to administration about how they handle cases of sexual assault, misconduct, and harassment in their schools. DeLuca’s work was recently covered by Livingston County News.

NYSCASA Statement on At-Home Sexual Assault Kits

NYSCASA cautions against the use of at-home sexual assault evidence collection kits and is deeply concerned by the creation and marketing of these products. MeToo Kit claims to offer an evidence collection kit that can be administered at home by a survivor of sexual assault. Currently, this company is marketing their kits to colleges and universities across the nation as the “the first at-home kit for commercial use.” While the product’s origins are rooted in good intentions, it is highly problematic for a number of reasons. Read our full statement here.

Companies selling at-home sexual assault examination kits are “essentially asking someone who has just experienced serious trauma to do a procedure that they are not trained to do at a time when they are likely in crisis,” says Joanne Zannoni, NYSCASA’s Executive Director, to CBS 6 Albany.

NYSCASA is Hiring!

NYSCASA is currently hiring for two full-time positions at our Albany office:

We are looking for candidates who are dedicated to our mission of ending sexual violence while addressing the intersections of oppression and injustice. To apply, please submit your cover letter and resume by email to Sam Mitchell at smitchell@nyscasa.org.


Coalition Events


Courageous Conversations, Critical Choices: What New York’s Child Victims Act Means for Queens (September 16)

Join Assemblyman David Weprin in Queens on September 16th for a conversation with leading child welfare advocates, clinicians, and sexual abuse prevention experts about a new opportunity for survivors of child sexual abuse to seek justice. This event is sponsored by the Zero Abuse Project in partnership with NY Loves Kids, and is co-sponsored by the Crime Victims Treatment Center, the New York State Children’s Alliance and Voces Latinas. To RSVP, email NYCVAEvents@rational360.com. Learn more here.

Webinar: Addressing Alcohol’s Role in Campus Sexual Assault, Part 1 (September 18)

On September 18, join NYSCASA for a webinar about a new toolkit created by and for prevention specialists. Addressing Alcohol’s Role in Campus Sexual Assault: A Toolkit by and for Prevention Specialists integrates research and practice evidence to help prevention specialists begin to answer the frequently asked question: How should our campus address alcohol in our sexual assault prevention efforts? Register here. If you have questions or concerns, please contact Dally Sanchez, Technical Assistance Director, at dsanchez@nyscasa.org.

Training of Trainers: Healthy Relationships Project (September 23–24)

This fall, NYSCASA is offering its rape crisis programs and its Ally Organization members one more opportunity to become trainers of Prevent Child Abuse Vermont’s (PCAVT) Healthy Relationship Project. Becoming a trained trainer in PCAVT’s Healthy Relationships Project will prepare you to facilitate PCAVT’s comprehensive child sexual abuse prevention programs – Healthy Relationships Project – and to teach others to facilitate the programs with fidelity. Learn more here.

Note: This training is available only to NYSCASA’s rape crisis programs and Ally Organization members. Click here to purchase an annual NYSCASA Ally Organization membership if your organization is not a current member and you would like access to register for this training.

The training will be held September 23-24, 2019, in Syracuse, NY. The deadline to register for this training is September 16. Read more and register here. If you have questions or concerns, please contact Sarah Podber, Prevention Director, at spodber@nyscasa.org.

Webinar: Shifting the Dialogue on Engaging Men and Healthy Relationships (October 8)

On October 8, join NYSCASA for a powerful webinar with Don McPherson, author of You Throw Like a Girl: The Blind Spot of Masculinity. This session will provide an overview of the state of the field of addressing sexual violence in higher education with a focus on engaging boys and men. The discussion will offer new perspectives on bystander behavior programs and education around “consent.” The goal of this session is provide strategies to build sustainable programming to engage men; taking this beyond prevention and toward healthy relationships and aspirational masculinity. Register here: bit.ly/NYSCASAEngagingMen. If you have questions or concerns, please contact Josie McPherson, Senior Director of Systems Advocacy, at jmcpherson@nyscasa.org.

Northeast Region: Addressing Alcohol’s Role in Campus Sexual Assault: A Toolkit Skill-Building Workshop (October 10)

Northeast Region Enough Is Enough providers are invited to attend this skill-building workshop that serves as a follow-up to the webinar on Addressing Alcohol’s Role in Campus Sexual Assault: A Toolkit for and by Prevention Specialists (Part 1). The workshop will focus on practicing some of the activities outlined in the toolkit, specifically on:

  • Developing partnerships/collaborations.
  • Exploring cultural aspects of developing messaging.
  • Reviewing current local programming already in place and identifying gaps.
  • Next steps for developing campus messaging.

Enough Is Enough providers in the Northeast Region can register for this training here. The training will also be offered to EIE providers in other regions throughout the state; locations and dates to be announced. If you have questions or concerns, please contact Dally Sanchez, Technical Assistance Director, at dsanchez@nyscasa.org.

Webinar: The Role of Advocates within the Forensic Exam Process (October 23)

Join us for a webinar on October 23 with Nancy Harris and Lindsey Crusan-Muse. In order to best serve survivors of sexual assault in an emergency department setting, it is imperative for advocates to be well acquainted with the forensic exam process.  During this webinar, presenters will thoroughly explain the forensic exam from start to finish, including medical history, assault history, physical exam, and evidence collection. Register here: bit.ly/AdvocatesFRE. If you have questions or concerns, please contact Josie McPherson, Senior Director of Systems Advocacy, at jmcpherson@nyscasa.org.

Cultural Safety Training in Akwesasne (October 23–24)

Join our sibling coalition, Seven Dancers Coalition, on October 23–24 for a training on cultural safety and skills and awareness for working with people from marginalized populations. Cultural safety moves beyond the concept of cultural sensitivity to analyze power imbalances, institutional discrimination, and colonization. Registration is required. Learn more and register here.

Trauma Stewardship Event in Syracuse (November 14)

Join Vera House, Inc., for a two-part event, “Navigating Amidst Overwhelming Times: Whether because of trauma, crises, or really, really hard days,” with Laura van Dernoot Lipsky. Laura van Dernoot Lipsky is founder and director of The Trauma Stewardship Institute and author of Trauma Stewardship: An Everyday Guide to Caring for Self While Caring for Others and The Age of Overwhelm: Strategies for the Long Haul. Read more and register here.

2020 Sexual Assault Prevention and Intervention Conference: Ending Violence Without Violence (June 2020)

NYSCASA is thrilled to announce that we are co-creating a conference to be held in 2020 with Seven Dancers Coalition, the Indigenous anti-violence coalition in New York State and Haudenosaunee Country, and Interrupting Criminalization: Research in Action, a new project led by Mariame Kaba and Andrea Ritchie at the Barnard Center for Research on Women. The 2020 Sexual Assault Prevention and Intervention Conference will be held in Syracuse, NY, on June 4–6, 2020, with a pre-conference institute on June 3.

This conference will provide a space for survivors, advocates, counselors, victim assistance programs, allied organizations, and community members across New York State and Haudenosaunee Country to develop the knowledge, skills, and courage to implement community-centered practices to prevent and respond to harm and sexual violence.

Speakers and registration information to be announced. Pre-conference programming will be announced in the coming months.

Sign up to receive updates about the 2020 conference here: bit.ly/NYSCASA2020

For information about additional upcoming events, be sure to check NYSCASA’s calendar!


Policy and Legislative News


Child Victims Act: One Year “Window” Opened on August 14

The Child Victims Act created a one year “window,” when any adult survivor of child sexual abuse can file a civil lawsuit against the person or institution who harmed them, no matter how long ago the abuse took place. This includes survivors who never before brought a case and survivors who filed cases but couldn’t move forward because the statute of limitations had expired.The one-year “look-back window” opened on August 14 and will last through August 13, 2020. Suits must be filed during that window, but they don’t need to be resolved during that window.

Safe Horizon has created resources to help guide adult survivors of child sexual abuse through the process:

Additional resources for survivors:


New DHS “Public Charge” Rule Effective October 15, to Be Challenged in Courts

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released a final rule, published in the Federal Register on August 14, 2019, which significantly changes longstanding policy about the meaning and application of the “public charge” inadmissibility provisions of immigration law. According to DHS, this is to ensure that non-citizens “who are admitted to the United States, seek extension of stay or change of status, or apply for adjustment of status will be self-sufficient, i.e., will rely on their financial resources, as well as the financial resources of the family, sponsors, and private organizations.”

Survivors of domestic and sexual violence are likely to be significantly impacted by the new rule. Survivors may experience significant physical, emotional, and, often, financial injury. According to the Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence, this increases the likelihood of the public charge ground of inadmissibility being applied to survivors.

On August 16, nonprofits serving immigrant communities and advocates for racial equity, health, children, farmworkers, and working families filed suit to block implementation of the new regulation. La Clínica de la Raza et al. v. Trump et al., filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, asks the court to declare the regulation issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) unlawful and unconstitutional.

Read more:


New and Noteworthy Resources


New Resources for Transformative Justice and Community Accountability

In a new blog post, INCITE! shares several exciting new resources that have emerged that help build practices and strategies for Transformative Justice and Community Accountability.

  • Transformharm.org is a resource hub about ending violence. It offers an introduction to transformative justice. Created by Mariame Kaba and designed by Joseph Lublink, the site includes selected articles, audio-visual resources, curricula, and more.
  • What Really Makes Us Safe?gathers several voices and hears what they each have to say about the same general questions: What is a community after all? How do we get people to change? Where is the movement headed? Created by Melanie Brazzell.
  • Fumbling Towards Repair, a workbook by Mariame Kaba and Shira Hassan, includes reflection questions, skill assessments, facilitation tips, helpful definitions, activities, and hard-learned lessons intended to support people who have taken on the coordination and facilitation of formal community accountability processes to address interpersonal harm & violence.
  • Videos from the April 2019 Building Accountable Communities National Gathering. Organized by Mariame Kaba, this convening included adrienne maree brown, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna Samarasinha, Ann Russo, Amita Swahdin, Shira Hassan, Mimi Kim, and other leading anti-violence organizers.


New Video Series on PREA and Culture Change

The PREA Resource Center (PRC) has launched a new series on the positive impact of the PREA standards. Produced by the PRC in partnership with Just Detention International, the PREA and Culture Change series features currently and formerly incarcerated people and corrections staff speaking about how PREA is transforming the culture of corrections.

The first video features Troy Isaac, a member of JDI’s Survivor Council who was sexually assaulted many times in youth and adult detention facilities. Troy believes that the PREA standards are essential for keeping incarcerated people safe, especially LGBT youth.

The video series will be a useful tool for training corrections staff, and other PREA stakeholders can draw on it for their work inside detention facilities.

New Toolkit to Support Rural Sexual Assault Services

The Resource Sharing Project’s newest resource, the Rural Toolkit, is now available. The Rural Toolkit offers rural-focused publications, tools, and resources to build advocates’ capacity to provide comprehensive sexual assault services in rural areas.

Are you curious about helplines? Support groups? Assessment tools? Explore the toolkit here.


Job Opportunities


Jobs at NYSCASA and Rape Crisis Member Programs


Jobs at Allied Organizations