NYSCASA Monthly Digest — February 2022

NYSCASA Monthly Digest — February 2022

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.


Welcoming New Staff to NYSCASA

Please join NYSCASA in welcoming three new staff members to our team!

Marketa Edwards joins NYSCASA as the Enough is Enough (EiE) Campus Projects Director. Marketa previously worked as a professional organizer with the Katal Center for Health, Equity and Justice, where she dedicated her time advocating for an end to mass incarceration and the war on drugs, policies that she has seen fracture families and harm the youth. Building on that advocacy work, Marketa co-founded and serves as the Executive Director of the Community Rising Project, an organization dedicated to supporting families who are directly impacted by state-sanctioned violence and by involvement in the criminal legal system. Learn more.

Thomas Kearney joins us as the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) Outreach Director. Thomas is an activist, advocate, abolitionist, and community organizer from Catskill, NY. He’s a formerly incarcerated individual who has since become a trauma-informed Substance Abuse Recovery Coach, co-founded an organization addressing food insecurity and mass incarceration in the Capital Region, and helped create a program that promises to get individuals into the workforce after they are released from custody. Learn more.

Max Micallef joins the team as the Public Policy Director. Centering their career as a Queer Rights Activist and democratic socialist, Max Micallef previously served as the Public Policy Coordinator with GLSEN Lower Hudson Valley before transitioning into a role as their Political Advisor. Additionally, through their work on the Advisory Council of EqualityNY, Max continues to advocate for the intersectional needs of queer people, and therefore all people, including dismantling sexual violence and intertwining oppressions. Learn more.

Join Our Team: Opportunities at NYSCASA

Board of Directors

NYSCASA is currently seeking candidates to join our Board of Directors beginning this summer. We are interested in candidates from all regions of New York State who have knowledge and skills in: nonprofit management; culturally specific and/or culturally responsive sexual assault prevention and response strategies; organizational planning; fundraising; finance; personnel management; legal matters; or public relations.

For more information or to apply, please contact Joanne Zannoni, Executive Director, at jzannoni@nyscasa.org by February 14.

Communications Internship

NYSCASA is seeking interns to support the communications program of NYSCASA. We are especially interested in candidates who are compassionate about the work NYSCASA does, skilled at research and writing, comfortable using various social media channels, at ease navigating through multiple computer programs in a Windows-based environment, and are comfortable working in a remote environment. Interns who have experience with graphic design and other forms of creative work are preferred. Students and non-students are welcome to apply. Click here to learn more about the Communications Internship and how to apply.

For more information, please contact Chel Miller, Communications Director, at cmiller@nyscasa.org.

Upcoming Events and Training Opportunities

RAFT Advocates Support Call

February 2 at 2:00 – 3:00 PM ET

Join RAFT (Resilience for Advocates through Foundational Training) for their next support call for advocates. The goal of this monthly call is to provide a space for domestic violence/sexual assault advocates to share concerns, share resources and best practices, and as a place to listen and be heard.

Call-in information is below:

Join on your computer, tablet, or phone: https://zoom.us/j/5858043499

One tap mobile (audio-only):
+16465588656,,5858043499# US (New York)
+13017158592,,5858043499# US

Meeting ID: 585 804 3499
Password: raftcares!

If you have feedback or thoughts on how RAFT can best support you, your fellow advocates, and the DV/SV space, please reach out to info@raftcares.org.

Rensselaer County SART 11th Annual Conference (Day 2)

February 9 at 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM ET

Join the Rensselaer County SART for the second day of their annual conference, a training for multidisciplinary professionals to experience specialized training together. This event will be offered as a virtual meeting.

Topics to include:

  • Sexual Assault: Brain, Experience, Behavior, and Memory, presented by Jim Hopper
  • Ethical Issues of Confidentiality and Privilege, presented by Jeannette M. Adkins
  • Blackout Girl, presented by Jennifer Storm
  • The Missing Story of #MeToo: Sexual Violence by Law Enforcement Agents, presented by Andrea Ritchie

Click here to register.

elevate|uplift Monthly Conversation: Sexual Violence and the Immigrant and Refugee Communities

February 15 at 4:00 – 5:00 PM ET

Join elevate|uplift for monthly conversations with all victim service providers serving survivors of sexual assault on different topics related to sexual violence. On February 15, the National Organization of Asians and Pacific Islanders Ending Sexual Violence and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center will facilitate a discussion on sexual violence and the immigrant and refugee communities. The conversation will be captioned. ASL and Spanish interpretation will be available. If you need interpretation in a language other than Spanish, contact kvierthaler@nsvrc.org.

Click here to register.

Trauma-Informed Supervision: Competencies and Practices

February 16 at 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM ET

The New York State Office of Victim Services (OVS) in partnership with the Institute for Disaster Mental Health at SUNY New Paltz (IDMH), present Trauma-Informed Supervision: Competencies and Practices, a 3-hour virtual training on February 16, 2022 at 9am EST. This training is intended for supervisors at OVS-funded organizations.

Led by Kerrie Fineran, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Program Director of the Counselor Education Program at Perdue University, Fort Wayne School of Education, this free online training will provide participants with a general understanding of trauma informed care principles and practices in direct service and supervision. Specific training about essential components of effective supervision and infusing these trauma-informed principles into supervision experiences with direct reports will be provided. The training will be lecture-based with small group breakout sessions for more in-depth discussion of topics and practice with case study examples.

Click here to register.

Decolonizing Restorative Justice: Repairing the First and Second Harms

February 22 at 7:00 – 8:30 PM ET

The Restorative Justice Research Network at the Restorative Justice for All International Institute (RJ4All) will host a virtual panel featuring authors from Colorizing Restorative Justice: Voicing Our Realities, who will discuss decolonizing restorative justice and acknowledging the harms of slavery and genocide. Audience members will be eligible for a raffle for a copy of Colorizing Restorative Justice.

Featuring Colorizing Restorative Justice editor Edward Valandra and authors Erica Littlewolf, Johonna McCants-Turner, and Anita Wadhwa.

Click here to register.

Center for Victim Research Webinar: Social Reactions to Sexual Assault

February 23 at 3:00 – 4:00 PM ET

This webinar reviews research on correlates and impacts of social reactions made to victims disclosing sexual assault and partner violence.

Findings about trauma disclosure and social reactions are presented from survivors and their informal support members (e.g., family, friend, romantic partner). Recommendations from survivors and informal supports about what survivors need and information from a recent intervention to improve social reactions to survivor disclosures are reviewed.

Click here to register.

Report Launch: Defending Self-Defense

March 3 at 6:00 – 7:30 PM ET

Survivors of domestic and sexual violence who defend themselves are systemically targeted for punishment by the legal system. Join Survived and Punished and the UCLA Center for the Study of Women for the launch of Defending Self-Defense, a community-based, survivor-centered research report that identifies key patterns in the criminalization of self-defense and recommendations to transform the conditions of criminalized survival. This report is produced by Survived & Punished, Project Nia, and the UCLA Center for the Study of Women.

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

Adult Survivors Act Passes Senate Judiciary Committee

On January 11, the Adult Survivors Act (S.66/A.648), sponsored by Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Brad Hoylman and Assembly Member Linda B. Rosenthal, passed the Senate Judiciary Committee. This legislation would create a one-year window for the revival of time-barred civil lawsuits based on sex crimes committed against individuals who were 18 years of age or older.

Learn more and take action:

Survivors of Violence Deserve Fair Access to Victim Compensation

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.

The Fair Access to Victim Compensation Campaign recently introduced legislation in the Senate (S7573/Myrie) that expands eligibility for victim compensation funds by removing mandatory police reporting requirements and providing survivors with alternatives ways to show that a crime occurred.

Learn more and take action:

Assessing the Impact of the Violence Against Women Act

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) has been hailed as the federal government’s signature legislation responding to gender-based violence. VAWA, passed in 1994 and reauthorized three times since then, has created several new programs and protections for victims of gender-based violence. VAWA is, however, primarily a funding bill and what it primarily funds is the criminal legal system.

But, as Leigh Goodmark writes in a new article published in the Annual Review of Criminology, the criminal legal response to gender-based violence has not been effective in decreasing rates of gender-based violence or deterring violence. In this article, Goodmark argues that VAWA that discontinued funding for the criminal legal system and instead focused on economics, prevention, and community-based resources—a noncarceral VAWA—could better meet the needs of victims of gender-based violence and target the underlying causes of that violence. Click here to read the full article.

Perspectives and News About Anti-Sexual Violence Policy

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. Click here to learn more.

Student Survivor Toolkit

Created by Equal Rights Advocates, the Student Survivor Toolkit is a comprehensive 70-page guide written by student student survivors, Title IX experts, attorneys, restorative justice practitioners, and community organizers. Click here to access this resource.

Perspectives and News About Campus Sexual Violence

Trauma and Mental Health

Vicarious Trauma, Vicarious Resilience, & Systemic Oppression: The Responsibility of Organizations & Movements to Trauma Workers

Vicarious trauma occurs when bearing witness to others’ trauma results in experiencing trauma symptoms of your own. It can happen to any trauma worker, whether you are an attorney, caseworker, therapist, social worker, supervisor, director, CEO, policy analyst, teacher, judge, caregiver, medical professional, community leader, peer support specialist, or anyone else who works with survivors of trauma. But it can be especially heightened for people who currently experience or have historically experienced personal trauma and/or abuse of power.

In this article, Shobana Powell explains the intersections of vicarious trauma and systemic oppression, and how individuals, organizations, and movements can mitigate the effects of vicarious trauma and promote vicarious resilience. Click here to read more.

Help Me Find A Therapist Launches REBUILD Program

Help Me Find A Therapist, which connects people to culturally competent mental health professionals, recently launched REBUILD, a program focused on connecting formerly incarcerated and criminalized individuals with therapists of color. REBUILD invites BIPOC therapists interested in working with formerly incarcerated people to add their practice to the REBUILD database.

REBUILD is a partnership of Depressed While Black and Darkness RISING Project, with support from BEAM, Mariame Kaba, and generous donors.

How Bottom-Up Treatment Can Address Trauma

Talk therapy isn’t always effective for trauma healing. Trauma psychotherapist Amanda Ann Gregory suggests that this is because talk therapy is a top-down treatment approach. If you imagine your brain as a staircase, talk therapy targets the top step of your brain in order to access your lower steps. Instead, Gregory suggests a bottom-up approach that begins with the lower stairsteps of your brain and helps address the impacts of trauma at their source. Click here to read more.

Trauma-Informed Health Decision Making

Experiencing trauma can make health decisions more complicated. People who have experienced traumatic events and toxic stress commonly experience shifts in decision-making related to their health, and sometimes engage in coping behaviors like substance use, risky sexual behavior, or disordered eating. However, wellness plans that address health decision-making often rely on the self-restraint and abstinence model. The problem with these approaches is that they don’t work for many people, they can encourage problematic feelings such as shame, and they assume people have the same resources for alternative coping strategies. This blog post from Mary Moussa Rogers for the New York State Trauma-Informed Network suggests trauma-informed strategies to support trauma survivors with healthy decision-making. Click here to read more.

Anti-Oppression in Our Work

Member Spotlight: Vera House, Inc., on the Power of Accountability

In this powerful presentation at the 2021 Provider Meeting for the New York State Department of Health Bureau of Women, Infant, and Adolescent Health, Vera House co-executive directors

Angela Douglas and Randi Bregman speak directly to individuals and organizations ready to take accountability and create a transformative and antiracist culture. Click here to watch the recording and learn more.

Collective Power: A Practical Blueprint for Sexual Assault Programs to Create Community Partnerships and Collaborations

A new resource from ValorUS (formerly the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault) offers a nonprescriptive roadmap to how we can build collaborative relationships with community partners within and outside the anti-sexual violence movement. It identifies best practices, models, and resources for creating, encouraging, and preserving community collaborations both in conventional and innovative ways, hence strengthening the capacity of our sexual assault programs and bridging the gaps with other social service organizations and institutions. The resource is available in English and in Spanish.

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.

Central & Western NY
NYC Metropolitan Area/Long Island
Capital Region
Hudson Valley
Southern Tier


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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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.