Volume 22 | Issue 3 | March 2019
March is...
Women's History Month
The theme for 2019 is “Visionary Women: Champions of Peace & Nonviolence.”  This year we honor women who have led efforts to end war, violence, and injustice and pioneered the use of nonviolence to change society. These Honorees embraced the fact that the means determine the ends and so developed nonviolent methods to ensure just and peaceful results.

For generations, women have resolved conflicts in their homes, schools, and communities. They have rejected violence as counterproductive and stressed the need to restore respect, establish justice, and reduce the causes of conflict as the surest way to peace. From legal defense and public education to direct action and civil disobedience, women have expanded the American tradition of using inclusive, democratic and active means to reduce violence, achieve peace, and promote the common good.

From women’s rights and racial justice to disarmament and gun control, the drive for nonviolent change has been championed by visionary women. These women consciously built supportive, nonviolent alternatives and loving communities as well as advocating change. They have given voice to the unrepresented and hope to victims of violence and those who dream of a peaceful world.*

NRCDV and NIWRC: Honoring Survival & Resiliency of Native women this International Women's Day
This International Women’s Day, the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center (NIWRC) and the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence (NRCDV) partner to honor the survival and resiliency of our Indigenous sisters, grandmothers, mothers, daughters, and aunties, despite enduring generations of forced colonization and genocide. Homicide is a leading cause of death for Native women, and compared to their white counterparts Native women are five times as likely to have experienced physical violence by a non-Native intimate partner.

Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) continues to be a serious crisis within the United States. These two organizations are calling for prayer and healing in response to this violence, but also demand meaningful legislative reforms that remove barriers to safety for Indian women by recognizing and strengthening the sovereign ability of all tribal nations to protect Indian women and their children.

March is National Brain Injury Awareness Month. An estimated 10 million Americans are affected by stroke and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) making brain injury the second most prevalent injury and disability in the United States. Symptoms of TBI can be different with each person and often symptoms are not immediately present or noticeable and can be physical, behavioral or psycho-social depending on the TBI. 

Falls and assaults are two of the leading causes of TBI's. Injuries to the face, head and neck are among the most common areas of injury for survivors of domestic/intimate partner violence and many are unaware they have suffered a TBI until weeks, months or years later.

Go Blue for Brain Injury Awareness Month

During Brain Injury Awareness Month this March, you can Go Blue! for Brain Injury and gather your coworkers and choose a day – or the entire month – for your company to raise money while sharing information and experiences about brain injury.
Interested in participating? Start here:

Brain Injury Association of New York State 

The Brain Injury Association of New York State (BIANYS) has developed resources for education, rehabilitation, community re-entry, accessibility, and more.  Click here to view all available resources from the Brain Injury Association of New York. 
BIANYS Family Helpline

BIANYS operates the   Family Helpline , a toll-free information and resource clearinghouse available Monday - Friday, from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM EDT, with a voicemail system for after-hours messages. Whether you are seeking information on traumatic brain injury, looking for resources on rehabilitation, or just trying to find your way, the Family Helpline is there to help! 

BIANYS knowledgeable staff maintains an extensive directory of services across the State. Call 1-800-444-6443 or   send them a message. They have resources for individuals with brain injury, family members, professionals, schools, or any other interested parties. 
New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence

NYSCADV in collaboration with the BIANYS presented a series of regional trainings and webinars on "Domestic Violence & Traumatic Brain Injuries, Understanding the Intersections". This recorded webinar provides advocates with an introduction to tools and strategies to help them navigate the intersections of domestic violence and brain injury with the survivors they work with. Participants are provided with:
  • An overview and identification domestic violence related brain injury 
  • Strategies for working with individuals with cognitive deficits
  • Community resources for individuals with brain injury

NYS Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence

The NYS Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence has developed resources for Brain Injury and Domestic Violence Service Providers including screening tools, safety planning guides, victims in shelter, and information on  The Intersections of Brain Injury and Domestic Violence.
New York State Department of Health

The  New York State Department of Health  has resources available including background information on types of brain injuries, prevention, medical care, statistical information on the incidences of traumatic brain injury in New York State, including by county, and much more.
2019 Public Policy Update
It has been a very exciting start to the 2019 Legislative Session. On February 5 th , NYSCADV was joined in Albany by domestic violence advocates and survivors during our annual Budget Advocacy Day . Together, we urged the Legislature to dedicate more funding to New York’s domestic violence residential and non-residential programs. Funds are critically needed to ensure survivors and their families receive the services they need.

The Legislature and Governor Cuomo also have been very busy, approving numerous pieces of legislation that we have supported for many years. Here are the highlights:
  • After more than a decade of advocacy by survivors and allies, the Child Victims Act (CVA) was signed into law. The CVA extends the criminal and civil statute of limitations for child sexual abuse, and opens a one-year civil window for individuals to file previously time-barred claims.

  • A package of gun control legislation was signed into law. The package included new laws to ban bump stocks, extend the limit on background checks to 30 days in certain circumstances, prevent localities from arming teachers, standardizing regulations statewide for local gun buyback programs, and allowing the state to review out-of-state mental health records for out-of-state gun purchasers in New York.

  • Governor Cuomo signed into law a bill prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity or expression and includes offenses regarding gender identity or expression under the hate crimes statute.

  • NYSCADV staff joined with DV survivors and advocates from The Women and Justice Project to support passage of the Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act. Meetings were held with key leaders of the Assembly and Senate Codes Committees, chamber leadership and the Governor’s Office to advocate for passage of the bill, which promotes justice for DV victims who defend themselves against their abusers and those convicted of engaging in other illegal acts they were forced to perform due to their abuse. The bill has passed the Assembly and is being reviewed by the Senate Codes Committee.

  • On the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision establishing the constitutional right to abortion, the State Legislature passed and Governor Cuomo signed the Reproductive Health Act, into law. The law formally moves abortion out of the state’s criminal code by amending the definition of homicide, and moves abortion regulation into the public health law, where it rightfully belongs as a medical procedure.

  • Both the Senate and Assembly passed the Comprehensive Contraception Coverage Act, which requires health insurance policies to include coverage of all FDA-approved contraceptive drugs, devices and products, as well as voluntary sterilization procedures, contraceptive education and counseling, and related follow-up services. The bill has been forwarded to Governor Cuomo for signature.

  • Both the Senate and Assembly passed the DREAM Act, which provides undocumented immigrants with the same access to state financial aid and scholarship programs for college as U.S. citizens. The bill paves the way for greater economic mobility, and guarantees educational access is never a barrier to achieving the American Dream. Governor Cuomo is expected to sign the bill into law.

  • The State Legislature passed, and Governor Cuomo signed into law, several election reform bills that:

  1. Establish a 9-day “early voting period” running until the Sunday before Election Day to encourage more people to vote;
  2. Ensure military personnel and New Yorkers living abroad have an opportunity to vote and changing Primary Day to the fourth Tuesday in June, unless changed by an act of the Legislature;
  3. Requires the Board of Elections to transfer a registration and enrollment of a vote to wherever they move in the state; and,
  4. Allow 16- and 17-year-olds to pre-register to vote.

If you would like more information about this legislation, please contact our public policy team at policy@nyscadv.org .
2019 National Crime Victims' Rights Week (NCVRW)
Every April, OVC leads communities throughout the country in their annual observances of NCVRW.

This year, OVC will commemorate NCVRW from April 7–13. This year's NCVRW theme- Honoring Our Past. Creating Hope for the Future .-celebrates the progress made by those before us as we look to a future of crime victim services that is even more inclusive, accessible, and trauma-informed.
This year's   NCVRW Resource Guide   contains a vibrant array of   themed artwork   that organizations can incorporate into their own outreach materials.
Review of FVPSA Requirements for Best Practices for Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity Reporting; Best Practices for Responsive Data Collection Webinar: March 11 & 12, 2019

The purpose of this webinar is to review the new FVPSA requirements for sexual orientation/gender identity (SO/GI) data collection; to provide technical assistance and support to FVPSA Grantees in their preparations to accurately and responsively collect SO/GI data; to discuss the rationale, benefits, and considerations for collecting this data; and to provide support and resources to programs in their efforts to ensure that their services are welcoming, inclusive, and prepared to meet the needs of the LGBTQ victims of domestic violence, in compliance with all state and federal regulations and requirements.

NYSCADV Annual Membership Meeting 2019: March 25, 2019, Desmond Hotel, Albany, NY
The NYSCADV annual meeting is designed to provide:
  • a forum for programs from across the state to network and get a state-wide perspective on domestic violence services
  • professional and organizational development opportunities for domestic violence advocates
  • an overview of NYSCADV's 2018 activities and plans for the upcoming year

This year's Annual Meeting will feature a panel discussion with Tamar Kraft-Solar and Jaya Vasandani, Co-Founders and Co-Directors of the Women & Justice Project, and Former Incarcerated Survivor and Advocate, Kim Dadou.

NYSCADV Legislative Day of Action: May 14, 2019, Empire State Plaza & Capitol Building, Albany, NY
On May 14th, join a vibrant, diverse and innovative group of advocates and allies from across New York State to raise our voices and relay a unified message to the Legislature and Governor: it's time to stop stonewalling and pass meaningful legislation to protect survivors of domestic violence in New York State!
Registration and additional information to follow.
Webinars, Events & Training