NYSCASA Monthly Digest – January 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.

Coalition News

Happy New Year from NYSCASA!

This past year was undeniably challenging for everyone. But your resilience and creativity has inspired us to continue fighting for survivors and advocates. Our work would not be possible without you, an extraordinary network of supporters, survivors, advocates, organizers, and professionals.

Thank you for being part of this movement to end sexual violence and all forms of oppression. As 2021 begins, we look forward to continuing this work together.

NYSCASA wishes you peace, joy, and strength in the year ahead.

NYSCASA Seeks Volunteers/Interns

NYSCASA is currently seeking remote volunteers/interns to support our work, including our Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) project.

Please note that we are not a direct service organization. However, if you are seeking direct service volunteer/internship experience, we can provide resources for you.

Read more and learn how to apply on our website: www.nyscasa.org/volunteers-2020

What to Know About Sexual Assault Forensic Exams

While education around sexual violence has gained nationwide momentum, sexual assault forensic exams remain a mystery for many. What is a sexual assault forensic exam, what does it actually entail, and what are the benefits? Check out this blog post from Carly Lanning, journalism volunteer at our sibling coalition, the NYC Alliance Against Sexual Assault, to learn more: http://svfreenyc.org/blog-posts/what-to-know-about-sexual-assault-forensic-exams

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

We are still experiencing 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: https://nyscasa.org/support-survivors-during-covid


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.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • JoLynn Backes (Victim Services Specialist, Planned Parenthood of Greater New York)
  • Jonel Beauvais (Akwesasne-based community organizer, formerly of Seven Dancers Coalition)
  • Donna Hylton (Activist, advocate, and author of A Little Piece of Light: A Memoir of Hope, Prison, and a Life Unbound)
  • Andrea J. Ritchie (Police misconduct attorney, organizer, and author of Invisible No More: Police Violence Against Black Women and Women of Color)
  • Richard Smith (National Director of the Common Justice learning collaborative, HealingWorks)
  • Donna Jenson (Founder of Time To Tell™, author of Healing My Life from Incest to Joy, and playwright/performer of What She Knows: One Woman’s Way through Incest to Joy)

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

Become a Circles of Safety Community Presenter

NYSCASA is pleased to offer two opportunities to be trained in Stop It Now’s Circles of Safety prevention curriculum for NYSCASA rape crisis programs and ally organization members. Beginning on Monday, January 25, and Thursday, January 28, NYSCASA will offer two 7-week training sessions for members wanting to become certified as Circles of Safety Community Presenters. Both sessions are capped at 25 participants each and will include both the Circles of Safety: Awareness to Action for Youth-Serving Professionals training (prerequisite for the training of trainers) and the Circles of Safety: Training of Trainers (TOT) – Circles of Safety for Sexual Abuse Prevention training.

Click here to learn more about this opportunity (including member eligibility, relevant dates, accessibility information, and how to register), or copy and paste the following URL into your web browser’s address bar: bit.ly/circlesofsafety

Secondary/Vicarious Trauma in First Responders to Sexual Violence

On January 27 at 10 AM ET, join NYSCASA for a webinar with Shalotta Sharp, Special Projects Coordinator at the Mississippi Coalition Against Sexual Assault. This presentation will educate first responders on the risk of experiencing secondary trauma, also called vicarious trauma, resulting from the work with victims of violence, most specifically victims of sexual assault.

Registration is required. Click here to register or copy and paste the following URL into your web browser’s address bar: bit.ly/nyscasa-vicarious

New York exCHANGE: Challenges and Strategies to Serve Victims and Survivors

On January 27-28, join the New York State Office of Victim Services and the State University of New York for New York exCHANGE: Challenges and Strategies to Serve Victims and Survivors, a two-day virtual conference.

Topics will include updates to the law around the sexual assault forensic exam, conducting exams during and after COVID, new approaches by law enforcement and advocates, the changes to Title IX and the federal approach to response, and more. The conference will serve as a place for information sharing, and will help us as we pivot to a post-COVID environment of serving victims and survivors.

With the support of an anonymous donor, there will be no attendance cost for any relevant service provider in the State of New York.

Register today at https://nyexchange.eventbrite.com.


Sexual Violence in the News

Punch After Punch, Rape After Rape, a Murderer Was Made

On January 12, Lisa Montgomery, a survivor of domestic and sexual abuse, is set to become the first woman executed on federal death row in nearly 70 years. Gender justice advocates argue that Ms. Montgomery’s execution, far from righting a wrong, would in itself be an injustice atop an injustice. Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/18/opinion/sunday/lisa-montgomery-execution.html

19% of Students Sexually Assaulted While at SU, Survey Says

About 19% of Syracuse University students who participated in a 2020 survey said they have experienced nonconsensual sexual contact at SU, results released in December show. Read more: http://dailyorange.com/2020/12/19-students-sexually-assaulted-syracuse-university-survey-says

NYPD Cops Cash in on Sex Trade Arrests with Little Evidence, While Black and Brown New Yorkers Pay the Price

Some NYPD officers who police the sex trade, driven by overtime pay, go undercover to round up as many “bodies” as they can with little evidence. Almost no one they arrest is white, even though studies show that 65% of clients who buy sex in New York City are white. Read more: https://www.propublica.org/article/nypd-cops-cash-in-on-sex-trade-arrests-with-little-evidence-while-black-and-brown-new-yorkers-pay-the-price

What Women Can Expect from a Biden Presidency: On Ending Violence Against Women

President-Elect Biden’s platform for women promises to be the most ambitious presidential agenda yet addressing issues that affect women and girls in the U.S. and around the globe. Biden has provided details for how he will accomplish this pledge in an ambitious platform for women’s rights focused in five areas: health care, economic security, work and family, violence against women, and global women’s rights. Read more: https://msmagazine.com/2020/12/02/what-women-can-expect-from-a-biden-presidency-on-ending-violence-against-women

A Radical New Plan for MeToo Turns Away from “Law and Order” Feminism

Spearheaded by women of color, the Survivors’ Agenda offers an expansive vision for the movement’s next steps. In a break with decades of efforts to expand the policing and prosecution of sex crimes, the agenda calls for limits on the power and reach of cops and courts. It does not discuss making it easier for survivors to report to police or demand longer sentences for perpetrators. Instead, it recommends replacing school police with counselors, decriminalizing consensual adult sex work, and rerouting some police funding earmarked for addressing sexual assault to holding more officers accountable for their sexual misconduct. Read more: https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2020/10/survivors-agenda-me-too-racial-justice

Uncaging Humanity: Rethinking Accountability in the Age of Abolition

Abolitionists Josie Duffy Rice and Mariame Kaba have been instrumental in imagining what accountability—not punishment—would look like for communities that see harm as an everyday occurrence if we saw people as whole human beings instead of categorizing them as “good” or “evil.” In this conversation, Kaba and Rice discuss how we can move toward preventing and responding to harm in ways that don’t exacerbate it, beginning with being accountable to our immediate communities. Read more: https://www.bitchmedia.org/article/mariame-kaba-josie-duffy-rice-rethinking-accountability-abolition

Army Punishes 14 at Fort Hood, After Review Sparked by Vanessa Guillén’s Killing

The Army is punishing 14 leaders at Fort Hood, relieving some high-ranking officers of duty and suspending other leaders after a review sparked by the killing of Spc. Vanessa Guillén. Army Secretary Ryan D. McCarthy cited profound problems at the base, including a command climate that was “permissive of sexual harassment and sexual assault.” Read more: https://www.npr.org/2020/12/08/944289588/army-punishes-14-at-fort-hood-after-review-sparked-by-vanessa-guillens-killing


New and Noteworthy Resources

A Toolkit for Survivors During COVID-19

Survivors of sexual assault are experiencing the deep impact of this moment in ways we could have never imagined. Those of us in abusive situations and those who are seeking therapy are struggling to get the support they need. Conditions that were already challenging are now exacerbated, and the needs of sexual assault survivors are being left out of the national dialogue in more ways than one. The me too. Movement has compiled the following tips and practices to help articulate some things you might be feeling, ground you, and give you the tools to help take care of yourself while you navigate the effects of this pandemic. Learn more: https://metoomvmt.org/explore-healing/healing-toolkits/a-toolkit-for-survivors-during-covid-19

Human Trafficking Prevention Toolkit

Human trafficking prevention has at times been framed primarily as a criminal justice priority or been siloed from other forms of violence prevention. As experts in sexual violence prevention, the North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault (NCCASA) recognizes sex trafficking as a form of sexual violence and the connection of sexual violence to all forms of human trafficking. There is tremendous value of a public health approach to violence prevention that incorporates our social justice lens. In this toolkit, you’ll find an overview of what human trafficking is and the public health approach to violence prevention, an exploration of the historical context that informs our current frameworks and gaps, tips for effective upstream prevention, and strategies for incorporating a harm reduction lens into your human trafficking prevention work, as well as critical considerations in selecting a prevention strategy. Learn more: https://nccasa.org/announcements/human-trafficking-prevention-toolkit

Confronting Child Sexual Abuse: Knowledge to Action

Most people get information about child sexual abuse from media coverage, social movements, or conversations with family and friends. Confronting Child Sexual Abuse describes how these forces shape our views of victims and offenders, while also providing an in-depth look at prevention efforts and current research. Topics include the prevalence of abuse, the impact of abuse on victims and families, offender characteristics, abuse in institutions, and the efficacy of treatments. Written for people who care for kids, for students considering careers in criminal justice or human services, and for anyone seeking information about this devastating issue, Nurse’s book offers new public policy ideas as well as practical suggestions on how to engage in prevention work. Interactive links to studies, videos, and podcasts connect readers to further resources. This new book is available in an open access format from Lever Press: https://www.fulcrum.org/concern/monographs/xd07gv76n


Your support helps NYSCASA improve response to sexual assault survivors and strengthen prevention efforts across New York State. Learn more about how you can make this work possible on our website: https://nyscasa.org/support-us.