NYSCASA Monthly Digest – April 2021

Do you have announcements that you would like NYSCASA to share in our Monthly Digest? Email submissions with “Newsletter” in the subject line to cmiller@nyscasa.org.

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Coalition News

Updates from NYSCASA: Anti-Oppression Work Is Anti-Sexual Violence Work

Sexual violence occurs as a continuum of beliefs, norms, and actions. Sexual violence is deeply rooted in power and systemic oppressions, including racism, patriarchy, white supremacy, imperialism, and more.

As an organization committed to ending sexual violence and oppression in all of its forms, NYSCASA denounces and condemns the violence of white supremacy and patriarchy, in all of the ways it shows up in our communities.

We encourage each other and our communities to reflect on the difficult truths of our complicity and the ways all violence is interconnected, and to begin to repair the legacy of white supremacy and its relations, patriarchy and power.

Visit our website to read our most recent statements and access resources:

Our staff is available over email and via web conferencing to serve your needs. To request assistance, email the relevant staff member from our staff listing.

Join NYSCASA’s Board of Directors!

NYSCASA is currently seeking candidates for our 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;
  • fundraising;
  • finance;
  • personnel management;
  • legal matters; or
  • public relations.

We are looking for candidates who are prepared to:

  • raise funds for NYSCASA;
  • support the executive director;
  • support NYSCASA’s mission and values, including racial justice and anti-oppression work;
  • 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.

Visit www.nyscasa.org/get-involved for information about other opportunities to get involved.

All New Yorkers Encouraged to Support Survivors During COVID-19 Crisis

We are still living through a pandemic. During this time of crisis, sexual violence, domestic violence, and child abuse will continue to occur – most likely at increased rates than ever before. The New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault, the New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Seven Dancers Coalition, and Prevent Child Abuse New York encourage New Yorkers to support their friends, family members, or colleagues whenever they seek help.

Read our joint statement and learn about available resources here: www.nyscasa.org/support-survivors-during-covid

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month - yellow background, dark grey text, with teal ribbon on right-hand side.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month!

Sexual Assault Awareness Month, or SAAM, was first nationally observed in 2001. Each April, the movement to end sexual violence engages in awareness and prevention campaigns aimed at ending sexual assault in our communities.

This year, the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) announced its SAAM theme of “We Can Build Safe Online Spaces.” Visit the NSVRC website for SAAM resources, including graphics, prevention resources, and survivor resources: www.nsvrc.org/saam

Be sure to keep an eye on NYSCASA’s website calendar and social media to learn about SAAM events happening across New York State and the nation!

Solidarity PLACE (Peer Learning, Accountability, and Community Education) for Aspiring Allies in NYS Victim Services

NYS-based victim services staff/volunteers who are white and aspire to be allies, accomplices, and co-conspirators in support of racial justice are invited to participate in NYSCASA’s upcoming peer learning calls for aspiring allies at victim services programs. These informal conversations will be facilitated by NYSCASA staff.

Logistics: This space meets on the first Thursday of the month from 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM ET. This event will be held via Zoom meetings. Video participation is not required. Registrants will receive the meeting link by email.

Accessibility: The meetings will be conducted in spoken English. Please indicate in the registration form or by email (info@nyscasa.org) if you require language interpretation and/or closed captioning. Please provide this information at least 3 business days prior to the start of the session.

Registration: Registration is required. Please register using the links below.

Contact: Please contact Chel Miller (cmiller@nyscasa.org) if you have questions or require assistance with registration.

Peer Support Calls for BIPOC in NYS Victim Services

NYS-based victim services staff/volunteers who identify as Black, Indigenous, or otherwise as People of Color (BIPOC), are invited to participate in NYSCASA’s upcoming peer support calls for BIPOC at victim services programs. These informal conversations will be facilitated by NYSCASA staff.

Logistics: This space meets on the second Wednesday of the month from 11:00 AM to 12:30 PM ET.

Accessibility: The meetings will be conducted in spoken English. Please indicate in the registration form or by email (ahill@nyscasa.org) if you require language interpretation and/or closed captioning. Please provide this information at least 3 business days prior to the start of the session.

Registration: Registration is required. Register at the links below:

Contact: Please contact Articia Hill (ahill@nyscasa.org) if you have questions or require assistance with registration.

Ending Violence Without Violence 2020-2021 Virtual Training Series

NYSCASA, Seven Dancers Coalition, and Interrupting Criminalization: Research in Action are pleased to announce the continuation of our 2020-2021 virtual training series, Ending Violence Without Violence.

Be sure to join us for the following events this month!

  • April 15: “Healing Wounded Healers” Webinar with Richard Smith. Click here to register.
  • April 15-16: “The Missing Story of #MeToo: Sexual Violence By Law Enforcement Agents” Two-day virtual workshop with Andrea Ritchie. Click here to register.
  • April 30: “20-Year Retrospective on the Work of INCITE Women of Color Against Violence” Virtual panel with Andrea Ritchie, Mimi Kim, and additional speakers TBA. Registration link to come.

Click here to see the full schedule, read more about the series, and access resources: www.endviolence2020.com.

Stay tuned for announcements about upcoming webinars and virtual learning opportunities! Click here to sign up for our Ending Violence Without Violence mailing list.

Building Connections Collaboration: Hearts ❤ Arts

On April 29, join NYSCASA’s Building Connections Project and the Mental Health Association in New York State (MHANYS) for our April 2021 Hearts ❤ Arts meeting.

We offer an ongoing, bi-monthly, informal virtual conversation about how to support our well-being through the expression of our “hearts & arts”. Working with you, we plan to provide a 45-minute uplifting remote session to raise our spirits and enthusiasm! Please come and share your unique forms of self-expression that help you navigate the rapids of our turbulent times.

Register here by April 26: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZ0pcuyhrj0tGNI7e7TIJfAM9yfSgI9Kvlk-

Save the Date: May 11-13, 2021 – Transforming the Culture of Power: Indigenous Transformative/Restorative Circle Practices on Healing and Thriving Together in Community

Multicultural communities are invited to participate in deep dialogues so that together we can heal the historic wounds we carry in our body, minds, and spirits, wounds that are rooted in systems of governance based on racial and gender inequality. To prevent continued harm and transform our communities, we need tools that foster dialogues across differences and community-building circle practices to heal both those who harm, and those who are harmed.

The summit will honor values of love, compassion, reframing how we walk in balance in our lives, empathy, humility, wisdom sharing, connecting to the land, sacredness, honesty, courage, truth, vision questing, accountability and courage to change – these are the necessary ingredients to build a vibrant, thriving community based on equity for all.

This free virtual national summit will meet from 9am to 4pm on May 11-May 13, and will feature interactive breakout sessions.

This event is co-hosted by Visioning B.E.A.R. Circle Intertribal Coalition, Growing a New Heart, and the Rural Sexual and Domestic Violence Equity Program of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

For more information, email connect@visioningbear.org. To register, visit https://visioningbear.z2systems.com/eventReg.jsp?event=1475&

Sexual Violence in the News

Cuomo’s First Accuser Raises New Claims of Harassment and Retaliation

In her first extensive interview, Lindsey Boylan sheds new light on a toxic workplace, as insiders detail the campaign to discredit her. Click here to read more from Ronan Farrow in The New Yorker.

Cuomo Aides Reportedly Subpoenaed in Sexual Misconduct Probe

Dozens of officials in Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration, including his top aide Melissa DeRosa, have been reportedly subpoenaed by the New York State attorney general’s office as part of the investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct levied against the Governor. Click here to read more from ABC News.

Me Too’s Tarana Burke Says ‘Make Space’ for Black Survivors in New Sexual Violence Initiative

Here, Tarana Burke, founder and executive director of ‘me too.’ International, writes about how ‘me too.’ International teamed up with the National Women’s Law Center and TIME’S UP Foundation to launch We, As Ourselves. The new initiative aims to change the conversation about sexual violence and its impact on Black communities. Click here to read more from PEOPLE.

“It’s Race, Class, and Gender”: Why the Atlanta Killings Aren’t Just About One Thing

Local law enforcement responding to the Atlanta-area shootings that killed six Asian women at three local Asian-owned spas described the suspect’s motive as: “He apparently has an issue, what he considers a sex addiction.” Officers also said it was too early to tell if the incident was a “hate crime.”
However, this horrific incident can only be understood as a form of racist violence and gender-based violence. “Even the explanation of a sex addiction — that is already racially layered,” said Rachel Kuo, co-founder of the Asian American Feminist Collective. “The ‘temptation’ is tied to the assumption of Asian woman being docile and submissive and at the same time being exoticized,” Kuo said.

“The law and the media demand a singular narrative: Is it this or that?” Kuo said. “When really it’s all of those things. It’s race, gender and class, together.” Click here to read more from The Washington Post.

House Renews Violence Against Women Act, But Senate Hurdles Remain

On March 17, the U.S. House of Representatives approved with bipartisan support a reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. The core legislation has broad support, but certain provisions added to the bill in the previous Congress exposed divisions among Republicans, and may prove contentious in the Senate. Click here to read more from NPR.

On March 24, the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence (NRCDV) released a statement underscoring the complexities of VAWA: three decades of uneven progress and harm done to survivors of color, transgender survivors, sex workers, and BIPOC communities. NRCDV announced that they are intentionally expanding policy efforts to focus on anti-violence work within a much larger context of social justice and progressive worldbuilding. In particular, they are working to advance a policy agenda that will make meaningful change for Black and brown communities, trans and non-binary survivors, survivors with disabilities, immigrant survivors, and those most acutely traumatized and harmed by carceral systems and responses. Click here to read NRCDV’s full statement.

House Votes to Revive Equal Rights Amendment for Women Despite DOJ Legal Questions

On March 17, the U.S. House of Representatives voted largely along party lines Wednesday to remove the expired deadline for ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment for women, despite the Justice Department’s view that such a move is not possible. Click here to read more from USA Today.

New and Noteworthy Resources

We, As Ourselves: Shaping the Narrative About Black Survivors

In February, ‘me too.’ International, the National Women’s Law Center, and TIME’S UP Foundation launched “We, As Ourselves,” a campaign that seeks to change the conversation about sexual violence and its impact on Black communities.

Working in collaboration, the three organizations aim to: 1) create safe spaces where Black survivors can confront their stories; 2) upend cultural narratives that harm and silence Black survivors; and 3) build new practices wherein Black survivors are believed, heard, and supported. Access more information and resources here: www.weasourselves.org

Internet Safety Tips For Survivors

Relationship and sexual abuse behaviors can manifest in many ways, and that includes tracking online history and whereabouts. It’s important for everyone, including survivors of relationship and sexual abuse, to know your options and ensure your safety online. Wellspring, one of NYSCASA’s member rape crisis programs, created a list of internet safety tips for survivors: www.wellspringcares.org/2021/03/24/internet-safety-tips-for-survivors

The 6 C’s of Becoming an Advocate: Workbook and Video for Survivors

International Institute of Buffalo, in partnership with The Survivor Alliance and Freedom Network USA, created a workbook and accompanying video to support survivors in assessing their readiness to participate in the anti-trafficking movement and also consider the diverse paths of participation.

Access the workbook here: www.freedomnetworkusa.org/resource/the-6-cs-of-becoming-an-advocate-workbook

Watch the video here: www.freedomnetworkusa.org/resource/the-6-cs-of-becoming-an-advocate-video

The State of Black Girls in New York State

Girls for Gender Equity (GGE), a Brooklyn-based intergenerational advocacy organization that engages cisgender and transgender girls of color and gender non-conforming youth of color, recently published a new report, The State of Black Girls in New York State. The report demonstrates the impacts of criminalization, incarceration, sexual violence, and family regulation on Black girls in New York State and concludes with policy recommendations and a transformative vision for the future. Access the report here: www.ggenyc.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/State-of-Black-Girls-2021.pdf

Get In Formation: A Community Safety Toolkit

Created by Black-led social justice consultancy Vision Change Win, Get in Formation is a collection of security and safety practices built by years of learning in the streets from Black, Indigenous, and People of Color movements within the US. Developed and edited by safety and security practitioners with a range of 10 to 40 years of experience, this toolkit includes handouts, tips, and worksheets to support you in growing or building your community safety practices and/or teams. The toolkit contains an addendum for navigating the multiple pandemics of COVID-19 and state violence. Access the toolkit here: www.visionchangewin.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/VCW-Safety-Toolkit-Final.pdf

The Art and Science of Learning with Adults: A Guide for Educating Survivor-Centered and Survivor-Serving Organizations and Institutions

Futures Without Violence recently published “The Art and Science of Learning with Adults,” a guide for adult learning facilitators, particularly those who work in survivor-centered and/or survivor-serving institutions and organizations, to help them bridge brain science, adult learning theory and best practices for developing and implementing learning experiences both face to face and online. Access the toolkit here: www.adultlearningtoolkit.wpcomstaging.com

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