NYSCASA Monthly Digest — January 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.

News and Announcements

Join Our Team: Board of Directors Opportunities at NYSCASA

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; 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.

We’ve Moved!

NYSCASA’s offices have moved to a new location. The new location is 30 North Greenbush Road, Suite 3, Troy, NY 12180. Please update your records with our new address. Our phone number remains 518-482-4222. We look forward to continuing to serve your needs and working with you from our new location.

Action Requested: Update Your Contact Information

NYSCASA requests your assistance with ensuring that our mailing lists are up-to-date. Please help us achieve our goal of zero returned mail/emails in 2022! Click here to complete a brief survey to update your contact information. Your answers will be read only by NYSCASA staff and will not be shared beyond for any purposes.

Questions? Contact Chel Miller, Communications Director, at cmiller@nyscasa.org.

Member Spotlight: Wellspring Launches Podcast, Springboard: Sparking Real Conversations

NYSCASA rape crisis program member Wellspring recently launched a podcast called Springboard: Sparking Real Conversations, which offers a safe space to explore murky topics and jump into the conversations we sometimes avoid so we can grow together. Click here to listen to the first two episodes, “Let’s Talk About Sex” and “Hope Around the Holidays.”

Upcoming Events and Training Opportunities

RAFT Advocates Support Call

January 5 at 2:00 – 3:00 PM ET

Join RAFT (Resilience for Advocates through Foundational Training) for their next support call for advocates on January 5 at 2:00 PM ET. The goal of this 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.

Holistic Approaches to Youth Wellbeing: Supporting Mental Health as a Strategy for Sexual and Intimate Partner Violence Prevention

January 12 at 2:00 – 3:30 PM ET

Communities, including school communities, play an important role in shaping the mental wellbeing and safety of young people. As a new semester starts and the COVID-19 pandemic continues, mental health and violence prevention practitioners are finding ways to address shared risk and protective factors in a way that prioritizes enriching and empowering experiences for young people.

This web conference will feature community-based leaders in San Diego, CA and school-based advocates in Multnomah County, OR who are creating comprehensive youth wellbeing strategies to improve safety outcomes. Join PreventConnect and practitioners across the country to explore how the pandemic is impacting students’ wellbeing, what implications this has on sexual violence and dating violence prevention, and how we can take action.

Click here to register.

elevate|uplift Monthly Conversation: Sexual Violence and Human Trafficking

January 18 at 4:00 – 5:00 PM ET

Starting this month, elevate|uplift is hosting monthly conversations with all victim service providers serving survivors of sexual assault on different topics related to sexual violence. On January 18, the Minnesota Indian Women’s Sexual Assault Coalition (MIWSAC) will facilitate the discussion about sexual violence and human trafficking. 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.

Rensselaer County SART 11th Annual Conference

January 19 at 9:00 – 2:30 PM ET

Join the Rensselaer County SART on January 19 for the first part 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 by January 14.

The second part of the conference will be held on February 9. Separate registration information to follow.

What’s Happening for Deaf Survivors of Domestic and Sexual Violence?

January 25 at 2:00 – 3:30 PM ET

Deaf domestic and sexual violence programs are few and far between in comparison to hearing programs. There are only 20 “for Deaf, by Deaf” programs compared to approximately 3,000 programs designed for hearing survivors. What does this mean for Deaf survivors of domestic and sexual violence trying to heal from violence and abuse? Join this panel discussion with advocates from Deaf domestic and sexual violence programs to learn more about the state of Deaf services. These boots-on-ground advocates will share more about their programs, including about the National Deaf Hotline, the barriers Deaf survivors experience when trying to access services from hearing programs, explore the disparities Deaf survivors of color experience, and share why understanding what’s happening, and the resources available to Deaf survivors of domestic and sexual violence, is critical.

Click here to register.

Sexual Violence in Disasters: Implications for Prevention

January 27 at 2:00 – 3:30 PM ET

The National Sexual Violence Resource Center, in partnership with an advisory group, made up of organizations working at local, state, and national levels to support Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and Asian American and Pacific Islander survivors of sexual violence, has released Sexual Violence in Disasters, an updated resource that builds on the work of one of their most requested guides, Preventing and Responding to Sexual Violence in Disasters: A Planning Guide for Prevention and Response (Klein, 2008). Sexual Violence in Disasters draws from research, reporting, and the lived experiences of survivors to explore the connections between sexual violence and disasters, the inequities that shape them both, the lessons to be learned from the resilience of survivors and their communities, and opportunities to prevent sexual violence before, during, and after disasters. Join PreventConnect and NSVRC to learn what this new resource offers and to hear from guests about the impact and response from their communities.

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

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:

The 2022 National Defense Authorization Act Passes in Federal Legislature

The House passed the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act on Dec. 7, and the Senate passed it Dec. 15. The bill includes provisions that make sexual harassment a crime under the Uniform Code of Military Justice and remove military commanders from “decisions related to the prosecution of covered crimes,” including sexual assault. While sexual harassment would be criminalized, it would not fall under the special prosecutor structure, a concession to opponents of the changes. The bill was signed into law by President Joe Biden on Dec. 27.

Perspectives and News About Anti-Sexual Violence Policy

Campus Sexual Violence

Biden Administration Title IX Proposals Expected in April

Last month, the Biden administration announced that it is planning to unveil major education civil rights proposals that rewrite the previous administration’s rules on sexual misconduct in April 2022. Education Department officials previously announced their intention to rewrite the Trump administration’s Title IX regulations that govern how schools and colleges must respond to sexual assault and harassment. The administration also indicated that it plans to include in the new Title IX rules a range of protections for transgender students, including their rights to access school bathrooms that match their gender identity and participate in school sports.

Fatima Goss Graves, president and CEO of the National Women’s Law Center, said that the administration needed to act with more urgency on repealing the DeVos-era rules. A coalition of groups had previously called for the Education Department to immediately drop enforcement of the previous administration’s Title IX policies this fall.

“Students should not have to put their rights and safety on hold,” she said in a statement. “We are pleased that the Biden administration is taking action to restore Title IX protections against sexual harassment, but this rule should not still be on the books.”

“Students are still going to continue to experience sexual assault at even higher rates than ever before, and schools can continue to be held unaccountable for what is happening to students,” said Kenyora Parham, Executive Director of End Rape on Campus. “We’re trying everything we can do to really have the Department of Education understand how detrimental these Title IX rules are and how they deny our students the most basic protections.”

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. It includes guides to the Title IX process, survivor-centered self-care practices, advice for Muslim and LGBTQ+ survivors, and more. Click here to access this resource.

Perspectives and News About Campus Sexual Violence

Trauma and Mental Health

Organizational Strategies to Alleviate Vicarious Trauma at Sexual Assault Coalitions

Our daily work is centered on the trauma of sexual violence, and thus, it is important for us to be aware of and work to mitigate vicarious trauma. The Resource Sharing Project, a project which provides technical assistance, resources, and support to state sexual assault coalitions, identified four strategies that coalitions can implement at an organizational level to decrease the negative impacts of vicarious trauma on coalition staff. Each strategy is outlined in a booklet, Organizational Strategies to Alleviate Vicarious Trauma at Sexual Assault Coalitions. While this resource is specific to state coalitions, the lessons and strategies outlined can be helpful for all survivor-supporting organizations. Click here to access this resource.

The Future of Healing: Shifting from Trauma Informed Care to Healing Centered Engagement

“While trauma-informed care offers an important lens to support young people who have been harmed and emotionally injured, it also has its limitations,” writes Shawn Ginwright, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Flourish Agenda, Inc., a national nonprofit consulting firm, whose mission is to design strategies that unlock the power of healing and engage youth of color and adult allies in transforming their schools and communities. Ginwright continues: “What is needed is an approach that allows practitioners to approach trauma with a fresh lens that promotes a holistic view of healing from traumatic experiences and environments. One approach is called healing-centered, as opposed to trauma-informed.” Click here to read more.

The Commodification of the Wellness Industry

This holiday season, we saw brands scrambling to sell their products as the perfect holiday gifts for ourselves and our loved ones. The trillion-dollar wellness industry, in particular, has plenty of products to convince us to purchase in the name of self-care at a trying time like the end of the year.

Thérèse Cator, a wellness practitioner and founder of Embodied Black Girl, an organization that aims to cultivate healing through community for Black women and women of color, says she’s tired of what she sees as the increasing commodification of the wellness industry, particularly so during the holiday season. “Everything is packaged to us,” Cator told Jezebel. “Our pain, our deepest pain, packaged to us as this product that will solve it.” Click here to read more.

Anti-Oppression in Our Work

A Call to Action for Inclusive Gender-based Violence Services for Black/Afro Latin@s

In a new report co-authored with Yvette Modestin, Esperanza United joins the call for attention to Black Latin@ experiences of gender-based violence. The report, “A call to action for inclusive gender-based violence services for Black/Afro Latin@s,” acknowledges the need for linguistic, culturally and racially inclusive gender-based violence services in the Latin@ community and recommends approaches for building on these services to better represent Black Latin@s. Click here to access the report.

Reimagining our Legacy: Transforming from Criminalization to Liberation

Last year, the Virginia Sexual & Domestic Violence Action Alliance hosted a webinar series inspired by a question posed by activist Mimi Kim: “Why and how did the violence against women movement – an emancipatory social movement – choose criminalization as a dominant strategy…and how has this focus on criminalization affected survivors?”

This webinar recording offers an opportunity to reflect on the movement to end gender-based violence’s reliance on the criminal legal system and contemplate the consequences of choosing policing, prosecution, and imprisonment as primary solutions to ending violence. During the webinar, participants discussed the impact of incarceration, discuss concepts of punishment and accountability (and how they differ), and learn about new, liberatory ways to practice accountability and repair that do not require punishment and incarceration. Click here to access the webinar recording from Session #2.

Virtual Conversation About Crime Survivors and Restorative Justice Issues

The Sentencing Project and national victim/survivor advocate Anne Seymour sponsored a virtual conversation to address the critical issue of restorative justice practices both pre- and post-conviction. The goal of the conversation was to identify strategies that can more wholly address the needs of survivors, those who harm them, and the communities in which they reside. Click here to access a summary of the conversation.

In It Together: A Framework for Conflict Transformation

The “In It Together” toolkit provides step-by-step diagnostic tools to asses conflict in movement-building organizations and groups, and strategies, tools, and resources to transform that conflict. It emerges from the decades of experience of the members of Interrupting CriminalizationDragonfly Partners, and organizers and activists from around the country. Click here to access this resource.

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.

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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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