NYSCASA Monthly Digest – July 2021

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Coalition News

NYSCASA’s 2020 Annual Report

NYSCASA’s 2020 Annual Report, which outlines our activities during 2020, is available! Many thanks and kudos to our donors, members, board members, and staff. Click here to download the 2020 Annual Report.

Request for Proposals: New York State Domestic & Sexual Violence Hotline 2021-2024

The NYS Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence (OPDV) is accepting proposals to manage, operate and promote the NYS Domestic & Sexual Violence Hotline. OPDV will fund one grant of up to $1,860,000.00 for the contract period October 1, 2021 – September 30, 2024. Proposal due date is July 9, 2021 12:00PM EST. Applications must be submitted in the Grants Gateway.

Re-Envisioning How We End Sexual and Intimate Partner Violence

In May, NYSCASA partnered with PowHer™ New York, the New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NYSCADV), and the Office of NYS Attorney General Letitia James to host a virtual panel discussion titled “Re-envisioning How We End Sexual and Intimate Partner Violence.” Panelists discussed how the criminal justice system does not meet the needs of some survivors, particularly survivors of color. The conversation highlighted a few community-based approaches across the state that are survivor-centered and culturally inclusive. Click here to access the recording.

What We Learned About Dismantling Sexual Harassment in Albany

In June, our colleagues at PowHer™ New York partnered with TIME’S UP NOW and the Sexual Harassment Working Group for a virtual conversation, Dismantling Sexual Harassment in Albany, to identify the legal, policy, cultural, and systemic changes needed to change the toxic workplace and address sexual harassment in Albany. Click here to access the recording.

Participants Needed for Research Study: “Motherhood After #MeToo”

University of Maryland doctoral student Kelsey Drotning is seeking participants for a research study, “Motherhood After #MeToo.” The purpose of this research study is to understand how the #MeToo Movement has changed parents’ thinking about sexual violence and mother-child conversations about sexuality education. Interview topics will include sex education, parenting decisions, mother-child conversations about sexual behavior, #MeToo and related events, and sexual violence.

You are eligible to participate if you are the mother of a child age 5 or older, are 18+, and live in the United States. Participants will be asked to complete an online survey and a video or phone interview.

If you have questions about this study and/or are interested in participating, please contact Kelsey Drotning by email: kdrotnin@terpmail.umd.edu.

Upcoming Events

Peer Support Call for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) Advocates in NYS Victim Services

Peer Support Calls for BIPOC Advocates will resume in September 2021. Stay tuned for updates!

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

Solidarity PLACE for Aspiring Allies will resume in August 2021. Stay tuned for updates!

NYS Trauma-Informed Network Quarterly Meeting (Virtual)

July 14, 8:45 AM – 10:30 AM

2020 was a momentous year in understanding and responding to trauma and crisis. In response to the pandemic and continued focus on the trauma of racial injustice there’s been tremendous growth in trauma-responsive awareness and practice change. Important work remains! Through our commitment to support “Trauma-Informed Champions” across the state, the NYS Trauma-Informed Network recognizes that we are better positioned to act when meaningfully connected to one another. You are invited to join the 3rd Quarterly Meeting of 2021 to reflect on an example of a cross-sector trauma-informed care learning collaborative, connect with “TI Champions” from across the state, share highlights of your efforts, and seek solutions to barriers. Click here to register.

Advancing and Connecting Racial Justice and Sexual Violence Prevention During the COVID-19 Pandemic

July 14, 2 PM – 3:30 PM

COVID-19 is not the only pandemic we are facing. The pandemic of racism caused by white supremacy has been causing harm, violence, and inequity for centuries, especially against Black people and communities. Sexual violence preventionists know that racism is a root cause of sexual violence, and there can be no prevention or health equity in the absence of racial justice. Join the National Sexual Violence Resource Center and PreventConnect on this web conference where guests from Ujima, Inc. and Girls for Gender Equity will describe their racial justice and sexual violence prevention in action, what’s changed during COVID-19, and their guidance for how mainstream organizations and the movement to end sexual violence can pivot to new ways of doing our work. Click here to register.

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, and access resources (including recordings from past events) at www.endviolence2020.com/past-events!

Mind-Mapping with Seven Dancers Coalition

July 20 and 22, 10 AM – 12 PM

In this two-part workshop series, Harvey Herne (Seven Dancers Coalition) will lead participants through mind-mapping activities that demonstrate the impacts of colonization and historical trauma in our selves, relationships, and communities, with a specific focus on Haudenosaunee communities. Participants will learn about self-accountability and self-healing strategies. This is an interactive two-part webinar. Please plan to attend both sessions on July 20 and 22. Click here to register.

Survived and Punished: Defending Survivors and Ending the Criminalization of Survival

Date/time to be announced.

In this virtual workshop, participants will learn about the work of Survived and Punished, a national collective committed to ending the criminalization of survival. The workshop will be facilitated by Mariame Kaba, co-founder of Survived and Punished, founder/director of Project NIA, and Researcher-in-Residence at the Barnard Center for Research on Women, where she co-leads an initiative called Interrupting Criminalization: Research in Action. The registration link will be announced at a later date.

Career Empowerment for Survivors: What Advocates Need to Know

Join NYSCADV and Nicole Eniclerico of the YWCA of Union County for the training series, Career Empowerment for Survivors: What Advocates Need to Know.

In this four workshop series, we will discuss key factors that affect our clientele, domestic violence survivors, in their path to a successful job search ending in employment. You will get a better understanding of how to work with and support clients through specific barriers that are limiting their capability to find employment, such as the struggle of a job search, lack of interview skills, and unstable living environments. These workshops will also provide helpful resources that can help clients reach their goals.

Workshops in this series include:

Community Safety Through Racial Justice Learning Series

July 20, September 21, and November 16, 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM

The Prevention Institute will facilitate a three-part bi-monthly learning series for local health jurisdictions and their community and government partners on applying racial justice principles and practices to build community safety. This series will support participants in understanding and applying racial justice principles and practices described in the papers, Building Bridges: The Strategic Imperative for Advancing Health Equity and Racial Justice and Community Safety Realized: Public Health Pathways to Preventing Violence. It will also build on the momentum of local health jurisdictions and cities/counties declaring a commitment to address racism as a public health crisis. Participants will have opportunities to discuss timely and relevant issues and engage in intersession learning activities to apply the content to their work. Click here to register.

Sexual Violence in the News

Safe Horizon + Survivors Condemn Assembly’s Failure to Pass Adult Survivors Act

The NYS Senate unanimously passed the bill, but the Assembly failed to bring it to a vote. Click here to read more.

“We are extremely disappointed that the Adult Survivors Act was not brought to the floor for a vote in the New York State Assembly. With a unanimous vote to pass this bill in the New York State Senate and support from many Assembly members including Assembly member Linda Rosenthal and all of the co-sponsors of the bill, there should be no reason as to why the bill wasn’t brought to the Assembly floor for a vote, passed and sent on its way to the Governor’s office to be signed into law. There are survivors who were waiting for this bill to be passed this session and now their wait has been extended. Survivors deserve better,” said Selena Bennett-Chambers, Director of Public Policy at NYSCASA.

The New York Assembly Is, Surprisingly, Dragging Its Feet On Passing a Bill That Would Allow Survivors Of Sexual Assault to Sue Them

The Adult Survivor Act would allow sexual assault victims to sue institutions that failed them .Yet it remains mysteriously bogged down in the state’s Assembly Judiciary Committee, leaving some to wonder if that’s because the bill opens the Assembly, along with Governor Andrew Cuomo, open to a whole bunch of lawsuits. Click here to read more.

NY AG Sues Niagara Wheatfield Central School District for Failing to Protect Students from Sexual Assault

New York Attorney General Letitia James announced Wednesday a lawsuit has been filed against the Niagara Wheatfield Central School District (NWCSD) for allegedly failing to protect students from sexual assault. The Office of the Attorney General says the lawsuit seeks oversight, monitoring and new procedures for the school district and its schools to better address the handling of sexual assault. Click here to read more.

To Confront Sexual Violence, We Don’t Need Better Prosecutors — We Need to Abolish Them

When candidates running for prosecutor claim to be on the side of survivors of violence, we always need to take a closer look — and recognize the violence inherent in the office itself. Any discussion about reforming criminal legal systems on behalf of survivors without mention of how these very systems are abusing survivors themselves is incomplete at best, and extremely harmful at worst, explain Taylor Blackston and Sojourner Rivers in Truthout. Click here to read more.

Department Of Education Marks 49th Anniversary Of Title IX By Stressing Rights For LGBTQI+ Students

The U.S. Department of Education marked the 49th anniversary of the Title IX Education Amendments of 1972 by issuing a Dear Educator letter. The letter highlights the importance of Title IX and references several Title IX resources made available during the Biden-Harris Administration, including for LGBTQI+ students. Click here to read more.

The Many Ways Domestic Violence Foreshadows Mass Shootings

The San Jose transit shooting is the latest to illustrate the deadly connection between intimate partner violence and mass murder. How are these seemingly separate issues intertwined, and what can be done to save lives? Click here to read more.

Gendered Violence Cases Challenge Sports Journalists To Consider And Reconsider Each Word They Write

When a news story breaks about high-profile public figures, the media snaps to attention. As stories develop, every journalist must evaluate the potential effect of each word and phrase as they report on an issue. Investigative journalist Jessica Luther shares wisdom gained from covering high-profile gender violence cases in college and professional sports. Click here to read more.

The Problem with Jeffrey Toobin’s Apology

“This example really underscores why we can’t equate a public apology with accountability,” said Laura Palumbo, communications director at the National Sexual Violence Resource Center. “Anytime a public figure is giving a public apology it is inevitably an opportunity to repair their own image. Despite what may be presented as sincerity and remorse in many ways these public facing apologies don’t focus on harmful behaviors and their impact and instead focus on humanizing the person who has caused harm.” Click here to read more.


New and Notable Resources

NYSCASA Resources for Survivors

  • Connect with survivor advocates and allies in your community
  • Learn how to access culturally specific support
  • Learn about your rights as a sexual assault survivor
  • Find answers to relevant legal questions
  • Find answers to relevant medical questions
  • Learn about sexual violence on college campuses and what resources are available for student survivors
  • Learn about human trafficking
  • Learn about self-care and safety planning
  • Access resources on healing, resiliency, and survivor activism

Access resources for survivors compiled by the NYSCASA team.

OVS Resource Connect

Hosted by the New York State Office of Victim Services (OVS), OVS Resource Connect is a concern-based search engine designed to help you find resources provided by OVS-funded Victim Assistance Programs (VAPs) from across New York State. Click here to search for resources on OVS Resource Connect.

A Toolkit for Survivors During COVID-19

Survivors of sexual assault are experiencing the deep impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in ways we could never have 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. Click here to access A Toolkit for Survivors During COVID-19, created by the ‘me too.’ Movement.

NYSCASA Resources for Advocates

  • Access general resources and information about COVID-19
  • Learn about anti-racism and anti-oppression work as it relates to survivor justice
  • Learn about supporting survivors from marginalized and oppressed communities
  • Access resources on child sexual abuse, human trafficking, sexual violence on college campuses, and sexual violence in policing and prisons
  • Learn about community-based approaches to preventing and responding to sexual violence
  • Access resources on vicarious trauma, resilience, self-care, and organizational care

Access resources for advocates compiled by the NYSCASA team.

OVS VAP Connect

Hosted by the New York State Office of Victim Services (OVS), OVS VAP Connect is a forum for OVS-funded Victim Assistance Programs to come together, network, and share valuable information and best practices with one another, while also staying in touch with the latest updates from OVS. Click here to join OVS VAP Connect.

Report: A Health Equity Approach to Preventing Sexual Violence

The Prevention Institute and National Sexual Violence Resource Center have released a new report entitled A Health Equity Approach to Preventing Sexual Violence. It details a health equity approach to preventing sexual violence, which means addressing the factors that contribute to violence and safety and factors that expose some communities—especially communities that face historic and present day oppression—to higher rates of sexual violence. The report shares specific local examples that use strategies from the CDC’s Sexual Violence Prevention Technical Package in different cultural and community contexts. Click here to access this resource.

Your support helps NYSCASA improve response to sexual assault survivors and strengthen prevention efforts across New York State. Click here to learn how to make a tax-deductible donation.