NYSCASA Monthly Digest – May 2021

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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 combined legacies of white supremacy and patriarchal violence. We commit to using our platform to amplify Black and Brown voices working to dismantle systemic racism and oppression and to share information and resources to support survivors, survivor advocates, and allies in this work.

Read our most recent statements and access resources:

2021 Visionary Voice Awards: NYSCASA Celebrates Visioning B.E.A.R. Circle Intertribal Coalition as Leaders in Sexual Violence Prevention

Each April, the National Sexual Violence Resource Center offers the Visionary Voice Awards, in conjunction with Sexual Assault Awareness Month, to recognize the creativity and hard work of individuals around the country who have demonstrated outstanding work to end sexual violence. State, territory, and tribal coalitions select an outstanding individual or organization to nominate for the awards.

NYSCASA is pleased to honor our friends at the Visioning B.E.A.R. Circle Intertribal Coalition (VBCIC), a survivor-led organization that provides prevention education, training, and technical assistance to Indigenous and multicultural communities who wish to eliminate interpersonal violence in their communities. Learn more.

New York Advocates and Lawmakers Lobby for Comprehensive Sex Education

On April 22, advocates for sexual and intimate partner violence prevention, LGBTQI rights, and 781`reproductive health, together with lawmakers, students, educators, and parents, gathered for a digital rally in support of a bill to require comprehensive sex education for K-12 public and charter school students in New York, S.2584A (Brouk) / A.6616 (Nolan). Learn more.

During National Crime Victims Rights Week, Crime Victims, Survivor Advocates, Formerly Incarcerated Advocates, and Legislators from across NY State Hold Virtual Press Conference for Parole Reform

On April 22, a coalition of crime victims, survivor advocacy groups, criminal justice reform advocates, formerly incarcerated advocates with the People’s Campaign of Parole Justice, joined lawmakers to hold a virtual press conference as part of our Parole Justice and Survivor Justice Virtual Advocacy Day to call for parole reform. Speakers made survivor-centered and trauma-informed arguments for expanding pathways to hope, healing, and accountability through passage of the Elder Parole and Fair & Timely Parole bills. Learn more.

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:

  • intersections of survivor justice and racial justice;
  • 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 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: www.nyscasa.org/support-survivors-during-covid

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

Logistics: 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 (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.

Contact: Please contact Articia Hill (ahill@nyscasa.org) to receive updates about future meetings.

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

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.

Contact: Please contact Chel Miller (cmiller@nyscasa.org) to receive updates about future meetings.

May 11: Telling Is Healing Webinar with Donna Jenson

This webinar will provide an array of excerpts from a performance of Donna Jenson’s play, What She Knows, and readings from her book, Healing My Life: From Incest to Joy, interspersed with reflections, narrative, and comments. The webinar will be followed by a Q & A session.

Click here to learn more and register.

This offering is part of our Ending Violence Without Violence Virtual Training Series. Learn more at www.endviolence2020.com.

May 11-13: 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&

May 14: Deadline to Apply to Participate in Spring Up’s Transformative Justice Summer Class

Join Spring Up during June–July 2021 for an online course on Transformative Justice. Learn more about everyday transformative justice tools, the roots of this philosophy and praxis, and build community around abolitionist, consensual, and liberatory ways of being. This six-module course has been designed and developed in community and collaboration with organizers, students, educators, care workers, and advocates.

Click here to learn more and apply by May 14.

This offering is part of our Ending Violence Without Violence Virtual Training Series. Learn more at www.endviolence2020.com.

Sexual Violence in the News

For Sexual Assault Awareness Month, ‘me too.’ and Other Groups Focus on Attacks Against Black Women

“Black survivors are overrepresented in experiencing harassment and violence. But they also are less likely to come forward and report, and that to me suggests that our systems aren’t working,” said Fatima Goss Graves, president and CEO of the National Women’s Law Center. The organization teamed up with Time’s Up and “me too” International for a week of action that amplifies the voices of Black survivors. Learn more.

One Year After Breonna Taylor’s Death, We’re Still Fighting for a World Where Black Women Get to Dream

March 13 marked one year since Breonna Taylor was taken from us. How do you measure a year? It’s one year that her mother, Tamika Palmer, has had to hold grief at bay in order to pursue a semblance of accountability. One year that her partner, Kenneth Walker, has had to mourn while fighting for his own life against a retaliatory system that initially charged him for a warning shot he fired in self-defense. One year that Black women have seen themselves in yet another instance of state-sanctioned violence. Learn more.

How to Support Loved Ones During Sexual Assault Awareness Month and Beyond, According to Experts

April was Sexual Assault Awareness Month: an event intended to create space for survivors’ voices, shed light on the insidious nature of sexual violence and amplify calls to action. But this month-long focus on sexual assault can be painful for survivors. Learn more.

RAINN’s Jessica Leslie Talks Promising Young Woman and Sexual Assault on Campuses

Promising Young Woman has made waves this awards season, recently winning an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. Jessica Leslie, program director of the National Sexual Assault Hotline at RAINN, discusses the film’s impact on the latest episode of the PEOPLE Every Day podcast with Janine Rubenstein. Learn more.

Nicole Addimando Hearing: What Was Argued During Appeal of Murder Conviction, Sentencing

To what extent should the Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act be applied? How should the long-term impact of repeated abuse be measured, or the length of time between an instance of abuse and a criminal act be considered? Such questions could soon decide the fate of Nicole Addimando, a domestic violence survivor from Poughkeepsie, NY. Learn more.

Bias and Misinformation About Domestic Abuse Survivors Still Plague the Courts

A game-changing law, the New York State Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act, could give incarcerated survivors of domestic violence a shot at resentencing, but misconceptions in the courts prevent it from happening. Learn more.

Why Crime Victims Joined the Fight for Parole Justice in New York

To many, crime victims and people incarcerated for violent crimes may seem like unlikely partners. But survivors and survivor advocates working with the People’s Campaign for Parole Justice argue that these groups are precisely who ought to be involved in crafting policies. Learn more.

Crime Survivors and Advocacy Groups Are Working Together for Parole Reform

In this interview with the Sanctuary for Independent Media, NYSCASA Communications Director Chel Miller discusses the intersections of survivor justice and parole justice, and the priorities of survivors and survivor advocacy groups working wit the People’s Campaign for Parole Justice. Learn more.

NYC Mayoral Candidate Accused of Sexual Misconduct

A woman who once worked as an unpaid intern for City Comptroller Scott Stringer, a contender to become New York City’s next mayor, accused him Wednesday of groping her without consent. Learn more.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo Aide Details More Instances of Sexual Harassment

Investigators from state Attorney General Letitia James’s office are reviewing allegations about his behavior toward women staffers. Learn more.

New and Noteworthy Resources

Resources for Survivors

Click here to access resources for survivors compiled by NYSCASA:

  • 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

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.

Resources for Advocates

Click here to access resources for advocates compiled by NYSCASA:

  • 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

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.

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.