Volume 23 | Issue 4 | June 2019
LGBTQI+ Pride Month
This Pride Month marks 50 years since the June 28, 1969 uprising at the  Stonewall Inn , when patrons of the New York City gay bar resisted harassment and abuse during a police raid.  Although Stonewall was far from the first time that LGBTQ communities fought back against discrimination , it served as catalyzing moment in the struggle for LGBTQ rights. And while we have made significant progress as a society in the decades that have passed since that night at the Stonewall Inn, much work remains.
LGBTQ communities continue to experience disproportionate rates of violence, harassment, and discrimination stemming from homophobia, transphobia, and intersecting forms of oppression. Transgender women of color, in particular, face harrowing rates of hate crimes and homicide in the United States. Additionally, reports such as  National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey: 2010 Findings by Sexual Orientation , the  2015 U.S. Transgender Survey , and the  National Transgender Discrimination Survey  have all found that members of LGBTQ communities experience domestic and sexual violence at alarming rates, particularly when they hold additional marginalized identities, such as being a woman of color or an undocumented immigrant.
As we celebrate our beautiful and diverse LGBTQ communities this Pride Month, we also call for greater inclusion within the movement to end domestic and sexual violence and for increased access to services for LGBTQ survivors, particularly those most marginalized.

June 15 is Elder Abuse Awareness Day
What distinguishes abuse in later life from elder abuse?

Abuse in later life (ALL) is the willful abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation of an older adult that is perpetrated by someone in an ongoing relationship (e.g., spouse, partner, family member, or caregiver) with the victim. As such, the term abuse in later life—used by the Office on Violence Against Women, the National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life, and a number of domestic violence and sexual assault programs throughout the country—calls attention to the nexus between domestic violence, sexual assault, and elder abuse.

Other terms are also used to define abuse of older adults. Elder abuse is a broad term that applies to abuse, neglect, and exploitation of an older individual in a trusting relationship with the offender. Elder abuse also includes harm that occurs because an older person is targeted based on age or disability (U.S. DOJ, 2013), such as in contractor scams. In many jurisdictions, elder abuse may also include self-neglect. Abuse of vulnerable, dependent, or at-risk adults generally refers to harm of persons 18 or older who are unable to protect themselves or report the abuse.

Abuse in later life is the segment of elder abuse that focuses specifically on those cases where the abuse is perpetrated by someone in an ongoing relationship (e.g., spouse, partner, family member, or caregiver) with the victim. Sexual abuse and stalking by an offender who is known to the victim or a stranger is also included in the definition. Older persons who fit the statutory definition in their jurisdiction of vulnerable adults and are in a relationship with their abuser may also be victims of abuse in later life. Power and control dynamics, similar to those seen in domestic violence and sexual assault cases involving younger victims, are often present in abuse in later life situations; therefore, older victims may benefit from services provided by domestic and sexual violence programs.

Click here to access more information and resources on The National Clearinghouse on Abuse in Later Life (NCALL).
2019 Day of Action Recap
Domestic violence advocates, allies and survivors joined together on May 14, 2019, to raise awareness of domestic violence issues and urge the New York State Legislature to support measures to provide critical resources and services for victims.

  • First and foremost, Governor Cuomo signed into law the Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act. The bill expands current law by permitting judges to grant alternative sentences to a survivor defendant if, at the time of the offense, the defendant was a victim of domestic violence, the abuse was a “significant contributing factor” to the defendant’s participation in the crime, and a sentence under current law would be “unduly harsh.” The legislation also permits judges to grant alternative sentences to a defendant if their abusers forced them to commit the crimes (e.g., forgery, robbery, burglary, drug sales and prostitution) and provides already incarcerated victims of domestic violence the opportunity to apply for re-sentencing.

  • During our Day of Action, NYSCADV acknowledged and thanked Assemblymember Jeff Aubry and Senator Roxanne Persaud, who championed the bill in their respective chambers. Connie Neal, Executive Director of the New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence said,"Today, as the Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act becomes law in New York, we are reminded of the groundbreaking work of Sister Mary Nerney in the 1980s who initiated critical support services for survivors including those imprisoned for protecting themselves from their abusers. This legislation builds on her work which is now led by countless survivor advocates. We thank Governor Cuomo, Assemblymember Aubry, Senator Persaud and the Legislature for ensuring this critical legislation became a law."

  • During NYSCADV's morning program, Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul spoke of her mother’s efforts to found Haven House in Erie County. She said, “This movement is about the next generation and that they know that they can live a life without violence… In the words of my mother, go into the world and do well. But most importantly, go into the world and do good.” Assemblymember Helene Weinstein and Senator Liz Krueger, both long-time allies of ours, also spoke to our group about current legislative efforts.

  • Both the Senate and Assembly passed resolutions proclaiming May 14th as Domestic Violence Awareness and Prevention Day.

  • And, for the first time, the Senate joined the Assembly in passing a package of DV-related legislation. There are now several DV-related bills that have been approved in both chambers and are awaiting signature by the Governor. These bills are summarized in the enclosed document. Most notably, the chambers passed:

  1. The Right to Call 911 bill (A2665A/S4657A), which was one of NYSCADV's three priorities for this year’s Day of Action. The bill protects all victims’ right to call for police or EMS without direct or indirect penalty or reprisal for doing so. The bill also prevents municipalities from imposing penalties on landlords whose tenants call police or EMS and prohibits landlords from taking negative housing actions against people for calling for help.
  2. NYSCADV's second legislative priority -- a bill that permits DV survivors a reasonable accommodation for taking time off from work to obtain services, counseling or to attend court. In order for an employer to refuse the reasonable accommodation, the employer must demonstrate that the employee’s absence would pose an “undue hardship” based on the overall size of the business, the number of employees, the number and type of facilities, and the size of the budget.
  3. A bill allowing DV survivors to break phone and TV family plan contracts, without charge, if they provide the service provider a DIR, police report, order of protection, or signed affidavit from a medical or mental health provider, an employee of the court, a social worker, a rape crisis counselor or a DV advocate.

If you would like more information about this legislation, please contact our public policy team at policy@nyscadv.org .
New York’s Bail Reform Law: Major Components and Implications

In April 2019, New York State passed sweeping criminal justice legislation, strictly curtailing the use of  cash bail  and pretrial detention; overhauling rules governing discovery, or the sharing of evidence between the prosecution and defense; and strengthening measures intended to ensure a defendant's right to a speedy trial. The measures go into effect in January 2020. 

  • NYSCADV's Annual Report

In 2018, NYSCADV conducted 39 trainings and events, reaching approximately 1,879 advocates and victim service providers from around the state and nation. Download our annual report.

  • Finding Safety for Domestic Violence Survivors and their pets
Leaving an abuser can be one of the most dangerous times for a victim. But if you have a pet, leaving is even harder. In a variety of surveys of domestic violence survivors, between 49 percent and 86 percent reported that their pets had been threatened, harmed, or killed by their partners.

News Highlight

On May 10, 2019, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released a proposed rule called “Housing and Community Development Act of 1980: Verification of Eligible Status.” The rule would change HUD’s regulations by adding more restrictions for eligibility for  certain  federal housing assistance provided by HUD  based on immigration status. IMPORTANT: This rule is not in effect. 

Policies such as those outlined in the draft proposed rule are having, and will continue to have a significant detrimental impact on survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault by deterring immigrant families, including those with U.S. citizen and Lawful Permanent Resident children, from accessing critical help when they need it. Housing assistance is a vital resource for survivors, giving them the security they need to leave abuse without having to fear that doing so will result in homelessness, as well as providing a safe environment to begin their recovery. 

Facilitative Leadership Techniques: Activating Productive Group Participation in Trainings & Meeting: June 25, 2019, Syracuse, NY

Ever attended a meeting (or 10) that could have been an email? Have you ever facilitated a discussion and wished you had approached it differently after?

This training will provide attendees with tips and techniques for designing effective trainings and meeting agendas using proven facilitation methods for fostering productive group participation. Participants will learn vital skills for becoming an effective facilitative leader, a style that promotes inclusive decision-making and group ownership.  This training provides hands-on techniques and an opportunity to practice skills that are applicable in any setting and designed to improve group dynamics and strengthen any team.

Webinars, Events & Training