NYSCASA Monthly Digest — November 2021

NYSCASA’s Monthly Digest is a monthly publication that highlights news, events, and resources to support survivors and advocates.

To submit announcements for inclusion in NYSCASA’s Monthly Digest, email info@nyscasa.org with “Newsletter” in the subject line. To receive the Monthly Digest in your email inbox, sign up for NYSCASA’s mailing list at bit.ly/NYSCASAnews.

News and Announcements

NYSCASA Is Hiring: Join Our Team!

NYSCASA is currently hiring for three full-time staff positions:

We are looking for candidates who are dedicated to our mission of ending sexual violence while addressing the intersections of oppression and injustice. We will continue receiving applications on a rolling basis until the positions are filled.

Visit our website to learn more about each position and how to apply: www.nyscasa.org/employment.

Survivors, Advocates, and Activists Call on Governor Kathy Hochul to “Free Them All”

Last month, Survived and Punished New York organized a speakout for survival and mass clemency, with survivors, advocates, and allies calling for Governor Kathy Hochul to commute the sentences of survivors who are criminalized and incarcerated in New York State.

Survived and Punished New York and Cornell Law School also released a report that demonstrates how New York State has historically harmed survivors and argues that the state must grant immediate releases and reparations to address this harm. Click here to access the report.

NYSCASA joins Survived and Punished New York and allies in calling on Governor Hochul to recognize and atone for New York State’s long standing violence against survivors, especially criminalized and incarcerated survivors. When NYS criminalizes survivors for conduct that occurred under circumstances the State could have prevented, it perpetuates and exacerbates gender-based and racialized violence. Click here to read about Survived and Punished NY’s efforts to free incarcerated survivors in an article written by Victoria Law for The Nation.

Petition: Survivors of Violence Need Expanded Paths to Healing

Survivors, advocates, and allies are calling on New York State to eliminate barriers to access victim compensation funds. 

Current New York Law requires that survivors file a police report in order to apply for reimbursement from the Office of Victim Services. While this arrangement works for some survivors, it denies essential material support to many other survivors who do not want to report the harm they experienced to the police for a variety of reasons.

Click here to sign the petition created by Common Justice.

NYPD’s Special Victims Division Under Scrutiny; Survivors Say They Were Further Victimized by NYPD

On Monday, Oct. 18, sexual violence survivors testified before the New York City Council about the hurdles they faced when they tried to report their experiences of sexual violence to the New York Police Department (NYPD). 

NYPD officials also said that a third of the Special Victims Division had not yet received training on sensitivity and trauma-informed interviewing that they had been required to receive under a 2018 law.

NYSCASA applauds the survivors who testified before the New York City Council about their experiences and the institutional betrayal they faced when seeking support and justice via the NYPD. 

Access press/media coverage here: Sex assault victims blast NYPD’s troubled Special Victims Division, Rocco Parascandola, New York Daily News (Oct. 18, 2021); “Your case is closed, don’t call here any more”: Most rapes in New York City went unsolved in 2020, Gwynne Hogan, The Gothamist (Oct. 19, 2021)

Opinion: New York Owes Nonprofits More than a Parade

New Yorkers depend on a network of nonprofits for essential services including food, shelter, and safety. However, many of these nonprofits, including victim assistance programs, are facing a precarious financial situation: delays in payments from government contracts that make it difficult to pay employees and sustain their programs. Click here to read more in this op-ed by Neil Mcg. Coleman and Norah McVeigh on The Imprint, which focuses specifically on New York City but has applicability across New York State.

Upcoming Events and Training Opportunities

Events Hosted by NYSCASA

Virtual Information Session About Safe Stays for Victim Assistance Programs

On Nov. 17, join NYSCASA for a 1-hour virtual informational session about Safe Stays, a resource for securing safe temporary housing for survivors in local hotels. Safe Stays by ReloShare is a new business-to-business booking platform that allows nonprofits and government agencies that serve survivors of violence to book hotel rooms for survivors 24/7 with alias check-ins and no credit card or ID requirements.

We will be joined by Paige Allmendinger, Head of Safe Stays, who will provide information about the program and answer questions from participants. Click here to register.

Events Hosted by NYS Victim Assistance Programs

  • Nov. 10: Invisible War: Virtual Screening and Panel Discussion on Sexual Assault in the Military. Presented by the Albany County Crime Victims and Sexual Violence Center. Click here to register.
  • Nov. 17–19: Unity Through Diversity: National LGBT People of Color Health Conference. Presented by In Our Own Voices; Cost: $50. Click here to register.

For a complete list of upcoming events and training opportunities, visit our calendar at www.nyscasa.org/calendar.

Policy and Legislative Advocacy

Take Action on NYS Legislation Using NYSCASA’S State Policy Action Center

Join NYSCASA in advocating for legislation that improves sexual violence prevention and intervention, such as comprehensive sexuality education, incapacity to consent, vacating convictions for trafficking survivors, and expanding access to civil legal remedies for adult survivors of sexual violence. Through our State Policy Action Center, you can learn more about these policy campaigns and access scripts you can use to engage your elected officials.

Take action through the State Policy Action Center at p2a.co/2dMNyET.

Governor Hochul Signs Online Safety Package Legislation

On October 20, 2021, Governor Kathy Hochul signed a package of legislation relating to online safety, including establishing punishable offenses for so-called “revenge porn.” Click here to access the official press release from the Office of the Governor.

The first measure (S.623/A.2206) creates a task force to explore and address the impacts of cyber-bullying. The task force will determine the prevalence of cyber-bullying, make recommendations on how to prevent it, and identify the ways in which the state can be a resource in assisting adults and children who are victims of such bullying, including children who experience bullying outside of a school setting.

The next piece of legislation (S.2986A/A.324) expands the definition of coercion to include the production and distribution of intimate images. This amendment will hold individuals who coerce another person into producing or distributing intimate images under threat of physical or emotional harm accountable under the law.

Expanding Eligibility for Victim Compensation Funds

In October, Assemblymember Jessica González-Rojas introduced legislation to expand eligibility requirements for victims of sex offenses to receive awards from the Office of Victim Services.

The bill (A8059) removes time limitations on when reports of a sex offense must be made; removes requirement that a victim of a sex offense participate in the criminal justice system in order to apply for victim compensation funds; establishes that a written or verbal statement made to certain persons, including emergency department staff, a sexual assault nurse examiner, or a victim advocates, shall be deemed to be a qualifying report to a criminal justice agency. Click here to learn more about A8059.

Click here to sign the petition circulated by Common Justice and partners calling on NYS to eliminate the requirement that survivors participate in the criminal justice system in order to apply for OVS funds.

The Adult Survivors Act Gains Momentum

The Model Alliance launched a petition calling on companies to sign onto the RESPECT Program to protect workers and for New York State lawmakers to pass the Adult Survivors Act (S.66 (Hoylman)/A.648 (Rosenthal)), which would allow survivors who were 18 or older at the time of their abuse and are now outside the statute of limitations to come forward and seek justice through civil legal remedies. Click here to sign the Model Alliance petition on coworker.org. Click here to take action using NYSCASA’s State Policy Action Center.

Advocates Push to #CodifyConsent in New York

This fall, UltraViolet launched a petition to call on New York State lawmakers to pass Assembly Bill A.6540A, which would add a definition of consent in New York’s penal laws. The bill defines consent as “a freely given, knowledgeable, and informed agreement.” At this time, New York’s penal laws only define what is not consent (Section 130.05). Learn more about A.6540A. Click here to sign the #CodifyConsent petition on act.weareultraviolet.org.

White House Releases National Strategy on Gender Equity and Equality

Last month, the Biden-Harris Administration issued the first-ever national strategy on gender equity and equality, which outlines a government-wide agenda to advance gender equity and equality in domestic and foreign policy.

The plan includes gender-based violence as a core strategic priority, and outlines the following goals: 1) develop and strengthen comprehensive policies to address gender-based violence; 2) address systemic barriers faced by survivors and their support networks to close gaps in prevention and response efforts; and 3) increase prevention efforts that are culturally relevant and trauma-informed.

NYSCASA applauds the White House for establishing gender-based violence prevention and response as a core strategic priority of the national strategy on gender equity and equality, and we applaud the inclusion of an intersectional approach that considers systemic barriers and challenges faced by those who experience intersecting and compounding forms of marginalization.

Click here to access the official press release, the factsheet, and the full report.

Perspectives and News About Anti-Sexual Violence Policy

Preventing Sexual Violence

Back to Basics: Partnering with Survivors and Communities to Promote Health Equity at the Intersections of Sexual and Intimate Partner Violence

We can prevent sexual and domestic violence by building healthy environments where everyone can live, work, and play safely. In order to be equitable, we have to take the social injustices caused by racism into account by centering those who are most impacted by sexual violence — Black women and girls.

Back to Basics, a new publication from the National Sexual Violence Resource Center and the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence, makes connections between health equity and our work to prevent sexual and intimate partner violence. It centers the stories of survivors at the intersections of systemic racism, violence, and oppression. It explores ways to build both individual and organizational capacity to address health inequity. And, it offers a call to action for those ready to commit to health equity in their gender-based violence prevention work. Click here to access this resource.

Sexual Violence Prevention During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Adapting in an Ever-Changing Landscape

Throughout the last year, the National Sexual Violence Resource Center and PreventConnect hosted a series of web conferences addressing how the novel coronavirus pandemic has impacted sexual violence prevention, how new and constantly changing circumstances relate to sexual violence prevention, and what adaptations people are implementing or planning. These web conferences addressed current, pressing needs for sexual violence prevention and envisioned ideas for sexual violence prevention in a post-COVID context. Click here to access the web conference archive.

A Call to Action for Policymakers and Advocates: Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Legislation in the States

MassKids and its Enough Abuse Campaign, in collaboration with Prevent Child Abuse America, released in June 2021, “A Call to Action for Policymakers and Advocates: Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Legislation in the States.”

The report reviews five laws aimed at preventing sexual abuse through school-based initiatives and provides an overview of each state’s legislative efforts, including in New York State. The report highlights emerging trends and proposes a set of recommendations to enhance current state legislative efforts and to build a national infrastructure to coordinate and support implementation of targeted prevention actions in schools, youth organizations and communities across the states. This report has been updated as of October 14, 2021. Click here to access the report.

Campus Sexual Violence

The Cost of Reporting: Perpetrator Retaliation, Institutional Betrayal, and Student Survivor Pushout

“The Cost of Reporting,” a report published by Know Your IX, outlines the impact of the reporting and investigation process on student survivors. The report is the culmination of a survey of more than 100 student survivors who formally reported sexual violence to their schools under Title IX.

The survey results show that 39% of survivors who reported sexual violence to their schools experienced a substantial disruption in their education as a result of the schools’ inadequate or otherwise harmful responses to reports of violence. The report includes recommendations for how institutions can create a more accessible and equitable environment for student survivors. The recommendations were created by survivors and advocates, and are directly influenced by the experiences of survivors who were harmed by their schools. Click here to access the report.

Frequently Asked Questions: Title IX and Supportive Measures for Student Survivors

Know Your IX and the National Women’s Law Center collaborated to answer survivors’ questions about Title IX and supportive measures for student survivors. They created a series of Frequently Asked Questions for survivors to learn more about what supportive measures they are entitled to, how to ask for supportive measures, what to do if a school is not meeting survivors’ needs, and more.

Click here to access the FAQ on Title IX and Supportive Measures for College Student Survivors and click here to access the FAQ on Title IX and Supportive Measures for K-12 Student Survivors.

Essential Elements for Non-Punitive Accountability: A Workbook for Understanding Alternative Responses to Gender-Based Violence

Courage to Act, an initiative working to address and prevent gender-based violence at higher education institutions in Canada, recently released a workbook for understanding responses to gender-based violence on college campuses that are rooted in non-punitive accountability. The report emphasizes accountability that is needs-based, trauma-informed, survivor-centered, and survivor-driven, and which includes an intersectional and anti-oppressive lens. Click here to access this resource.

Perspectives and News About Campus Sexual Violence

Trauma and Mental Health

Trauma-Informed Community Building

Trauma-informed community building is a prevention strategy that addresses the social and structural determinants of health, recognizing that living in historically disadvantaged communities increases the risk of children and families experiencing multiple forms of violence.

Trauma Informed Community Building: Lessons Learned from DELTA FOCUS from preventIPV features coalitions in Delaware, North Carolina, and Indiana that implemented approaches in communities experiencing disproportionate trauma as a result of exposure to stressors such as chronic poverty, high rates of violence, and substandard housing.

Key lessons learned reflect the importance of building and leveraging trusting relationships when working in communities that have experienced trauma while amplifying the voice of the community to build safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments. Click here to access this resource.

Supportive Ways to Address Trauma that Shows up at Work

Trauma can significantly impede a survivor’s ability to thrive in the workplace and in many cases, it can result in survivors losing wages or even their job. Workplaces have an opportunity to disrupt the impact of violence on survivors’ ability to thrive at work by implementing supportive policies and practices that foster a safer and more supportive workplace for all.

Workplaces Respond to Domestic & Sexual Violence, a project of Futures Without Violence, compiled a list of six supportive ways to address traumatic experiences and trauma responses that show up at work. Click here to access this resource.

Body-Focused Treatments for Trauma

Many trauma survivors are learning how to listen to their bodies in ways that create new confidence and self-trust and a deeper understanding of their needs. Rebellious Magazine writer Jera Brown interviewed Eden Himidian, a psychotherapist at Wildflower Center for Emotional Health, about the role of the body in healing from trauma. Click here to access the interview.

Perspectives and News About Trauma and Mental Health

Anti-Oppression in Our Work

Ending Violence Without Violence Recordings and Resources

NYSCASA, Seven Dancers Coalition, and Interrupting Criminalization: Research in Action are grateful to all who have participated in our Ending Violence Without Violence virtual training series during 2020 and 2021. All available recordings, plus additional resources, are now available on the event website at www.endviolence2020.com/past-events

Interrupting Criminalization Help Desk

Are you or your organization working to end violence without using police? Do you need support? Interrupting Criminalization recently launched the Help Desk, a free service offering thought partnership and one-on-one consultation. Individuals and organizations can schedule appointments with the Help Desk at bit.ly/ICHelpDesk.

TransformHarm Resource Hub

TransformHarm is a resource hub about ending violence. Created by Mariame Kaba and designed by Lu Design Studio, the site includes selected articles, audio-visual resources, curricula, and more. Focus areas include transformative justice, community accountability, restorative justice, abolition, healing justice, and carceral feminism. Access this resource at transformharm.org.

Language and Health Equity: Lessons on Access and Justice from the Field

In a new blog series from the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, learn about how people working to prevent sexual violence are working toward health equity by increasing language access and justice. The blog series uplifts lessons and examples of increasing language access and justice in preventing sexual violence.

Job Opportunities

Do you have job announcements that you would like NYSCASA to share on our communications channels? Please send job announcements to info@nyscasa.org with “Job Announcement” in the subject line.


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

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