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Girl Scout Troop 6000 Cookie Sale
By Dana Rosenwasser
September 17, 2018

Our domestic violence shelters are homes to families with children of all ages. One of the goals of shelter is to create a supportive environment where our residents can build community and connection while they heal. The girls living in domestic violence shelters Rose House and Lily House were recently invited to join the Girl Scout community. They became the first domestic violence shelter residents to join Girl Scout Troop 6000; a troop exclusively for girls living in New York City shelters!

One of the things our domestic violence shelters strive to do is help families gain a sense of normalcy and community while they are healing from their experiences of domestic violence,” Rachel Goldsmith, Associate Vice President of our Domestic Shelters explains. Troop 6000 helps achieve that goal by creating continuity for girls whose families may need to relocate often. Troop 6000 connects participants living in shelters across New York City so if they move to a different shelter, they will still be part of the troop.

The Girl Scouts of Greater New York program covers membership fees and troop dues, starter kits for the girls, which include the signature vest, pins, and workbooks, as well as program supplies and financial aid for summer camp and other Girl Scout programs. Parents are also encouraged to join the girls in the fun educational and enriching activities, and enjoy valuable leadership opportunities themselves!

Troop 6000 Empowers Girls at Domestic Violence Shelters

Joining the Girl Scout Sisterhood

Troop 6000 participates in the same activities as any other Girl Scout troop. This includes learning, forging forever friendships, and participating in signature Girl Scout activities. At the inaugural meeting, the girls learned the Girl Scout promise, picked badges that they would like to earn, and made Girl Scout promise bracelets.

The girls at Rose House earned their Cookie Sale Badges and sold 113 of 120 boxes of cookies in two hours. The girls at Lily House worked towards earning their Financial Literacy Badge.

Girls from both our shelters got the chance to flex their business savvy by selling Girl Scout cookies at the Kellogg’s Café in Union Square. At the cookie sale, the girls got an in-depth look at how the cookies were made. This included hands-on experience learning about ingredients and the baking process. Troop 6000 collectively sold over 30,000 cookies at the cafe in just one week!

Troop 6000 Empowers Girls at Domestic Violence Shelters

Celebrating the Unique Strengths and Potential of Each Girl

Girl Scout Troop 6000 cultivates a strong sense of community, consistency, and belonging, and brings curiosity and fun to the shelter every week. Maoly, a Childcare Aid who works at Lily House, has seen the girls flourish since joining Troop 6000. “The girls love being in Girl Scouts and are proud to say they are part of something. It’s like a sisterhood for them. Not only do they live together, but they also join this troop together.”

We are proud to have our shelter residents be part of Troop 6000. We look forward to expanding the opportunity to join Troop 6000 to residents at our Prelude shelter.

Why Survivors Of Sexual Assault Often Wait To Come Forward

Refinery 29
By Cory Stieg
September 17, 2018

Yesterday, The Washington Post reported that Christine Blasey Ford is the author of the confidential letter accusing Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, of sexual assault. In the ’80s, when Ford and Kavanaugh were teens, she alleges that he pinned her to a bed at a house party, groped her over her clothing, and tried to remove her bathing suit and clothes. At one point, she alleges he put his hand over her mouth when she tried to scream. “I thought he might inadvertently kill me,” she told the Post. In a statement from the White House last week, Kavanaugh said he “categorically and unequivocally” denies the allegation.

When Ford, a research psychologist, and professor at Palo Alto University in Northern California, first approached the Post with her story in early July, she intended to keep her identity concealed, because she feared how the public news would impact her life and family. But when the letter she wrote to Senator Dianne Feinstein of California detailing her accusations against Kavanaugh was made known to the public last week, Ford made the difficult decision to come forward. “I feel like my civic responsibility is outweighing my anguish and terror about retaliation,” she told the Post. Since revealing her identity, Ford has been doxxed and mocked on Twitter.

Some people questioned what took Ford so long to come forward. “Decades-old allegations against Kavanaugh come out just days before a vote….victim or opportunist?” tweeted Fox News’s Tomi Lahren. Senator Orrin Hatch told CNN he thought Ford was “mistaken.

I think she’s mistaking something, but I don’t know, I mean, I don’t know her,” Hatch continued. And Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell criticized Democrats — and indirectly Ford — for waiting until “the 11th hour” to bring this up. “Now an accusation of 36-year-old misconduct, dating back to high school, has been brought forward at the last minute in an irregular manner,” McConnell said on the Senate floor today.

It’s common for survivors of sexual assault to wait to come forward, or not to come forward publicly at all, because they fear they won’t be believed or will experience retaliation from the perpetrator. Sharing details about a traumatic encounter inherently requires you to trust that other people will be responsible with your story, which is understandably difficult for survivors. And this is especially true when the situation involves a high-ranking individual with a public position, says Kristen Houser, MPA, of the National Sexual Violence Resource Center and Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape. Plus, judging by the way Anita Hill was treated in 1991 when she accused Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment during his confirmation hearings for the Supreme Court, it’s not at all surprising that Ford initially wanted to keep her identity private.

You know that you are walking into a situation where people are going to discount your version of a very personal, traumatizing thing that’s happened to you,” Houser says. “It is likely they will attempt to pry into your personal life and find any example of miscommunication or anything that can be construed as dishonesty.” In fact, last month Ford’s lawyer suggested that she proactively take a polygraph test in case people called her a liar, the Post reported. The test found that Ford was telling the truth.

Certainly, we have witnessed this happen with survivors who have come forward in the midst of the #MeToo movement. People may have heard stories in the news or had friends go through the process of reporting sexual assault, and not want to face the same stigma, says Brian Pacheco, a spokesperson for Safe Horizon, a survivor assistance organization. But the #MeToo movement has also given lots of people the vocabulary to discuss troubling events that happened in their past. “Once survivors learn that there’s an abuser that has the potential to abuse others, they feel motivated like it’s their responsibility to come forward and help others,” he says.

In the Post article, Ford says it wasn’t until she was in therapy in 2012 — long before the current #MeToo movement existed — that she told anyone about what had happened to her back in high school. According to Pacheco, this is a common way that survivors grapple with trauma. “It’s unfair to say, Why did it take you so long,” he says. “They may have had to work it out to come to a place where they feel safe enough to come forward.” It could take months or years for someone to realize how a traumatic event impacted their life, he says.

When people encounter traumatic events, their brains also can’t “file” the memories properly in some instances. In the moment, an experience might register as life-threatening, but they may not be able to categorize it as problematic until much later in life. “It leaves long-lasting imprints on your life,” Houser says. “That’s why it’s not at all surprising that 30 years later [Ford is] discussing it in her private therapy.” And if you’re someone who has been carrying around your story for decades like Ford, then it can feel intimidating or vulnerable to eventually speak up publicly about it, she says.

As evidenced by the criticism Ford is receiving on social media, this case highlights why so many survivors hesitate to tell their own stories. If you’re a survivor and planning on sharing your story publicly, Houser suggests it’s important to have conversations with your family and friends beforehand about what to expect. “It’s important for people to have as much control over their story as they can, and usually people are willing to give support,” she says.

And Ford coming forward has already made an impact. Today, Kavanaugh said he would talk to the Senate Judiciary Committee about the incident, and Ford’s lawyer said she is willing to testify before Congress, too.

Sexual assault is a crime, and every allegation should be thoroughly investigated,” Jodi Omear, vice president of the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) tells Refinery29 in a statement. “The allegations made by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford are very serious.” Historically, however, Omear adds, hearing allegations like these often leads others to reach out for help.

Alumnae from the high school that Ford attended have since created an open letter of support for Ford, stating her experience is “all too consistent with stories we heard and lived while attending Holton [the high school she attended].

They added: “Many of us are survivors ourselves.

If you have experienced sexual violence and are in need of crisis support, please call the RAINN Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Read the original article here.

How Client Advocate Specialist Nia Safety Plans with Survivors_Crop2

By Dana Rosenwasser
September 12, 2018

Safe Horizon has three confidential 24-hour hotlines that are open seven days a week, 365 days a year. At the Hotlines, Client Advocate Specialists like Nia speak to victims of all types of crime and abuse and help them find ways to be safe. One way they do this is by safety planning. Safety planning one-on-one can help survivors clarify their unique safety concerns, manage risk factors, and identify resources and options.

Safety Planning with Survivors of Crime and Abuse

To protect the safety of the callers, the first thing Nia does is ask if they are in a safe space to speak freely. If they are not, Nia will offer to call 911 if needed or explore ways the survivor can connect with us safely. “If clients do feel comfortable to speak, I reassure them that the call is confidential,” Nia explains. “I then ask why they are calling or what their concerns are.

Some callers are interested in finding shelter while others want legal assistance, like help filing an Order of Protection. Whatever the presenting need, Nia makes it a priority to engage survivors in safety planning. A safety plan is a list of options and strategies to help avoid danger or manage it when it happens. Nia helps callers identify the risks they are facing, and brainstorm steps they can take to increase their safety. “While safety planning I’ll ask the survivor to take me through some concerns they have. I ask them to tell me what they think would happen in that situation. Then we can brainstorm together to figure out other options.”

Client Advocate Specialist Nia Safety Plans with Survivors

Nia provides an example, “A survivor may not feel safe riding the train because it’s where they were attacked. If they need to take that subway to get to work, we would brainstorm ideas of how they could protect themselves while on that train. Their safety plan could be staying next to the conductor car. That way they could feel safer that if anything happened, they could tell the conductor.”

Nia says that the most important thing to remember when safety planning with a survivor is not to be judgmental. This is at the heart of Safe Horizon’s client-centered approach to working with survivors. Advocates like Nia empower survivors to choose what is right for them without judgment or criticism. “A safety plan is whatever is feasible for the client. You can’t judge somebody’s safety because what they consider to be safe may be different from what you think. Whatever the client feels would be best for their life is what we try our best to respect.”

Our Client Advocate Specialists answer nearly 100,000 calls to our three hotlines each year. Safety planning is one of the critical services survivors can use in their journey to safety.

If you or someone you know is in a situation where safety is a concern, we’re here to help. You can visit our Hotlines page.

You can support these lifesaving services by making a gift to Safe Horizon. Your support will help victims of domestic violence, child abuse, sexual assault, human trafficking and all forms of violence move from crisis to confidence.

Please make a gift today.

15 Years later: Remembering September 11th

*Each of us may experience a range of emotions as we remember the September 11th terrorist attacks and ways to cope with our reactions. Please be aware that this article may evoke memories and intensify your reactions.

September 11, 2018
By Dana Rosenwasser

A short 15-minute walk from Safe Horizon’s administrative headquarters in downtown Manhattan is one of the locations where a national tragedy occurred 17 years ago. We will never forget the catastrophic impact the September 11th attacks had, not only on the immediate and surrounding area but on the entire country. We will also never forget the role our dedicated staff played in making a difference in the lives of thousands of people directly and indirectly affected by the attacks.

As an agency that specializes in providing compassionate support and practical resources to those affected by violence and abuse, we are often called upon by community and government leaders to lend these expert services in response to traumatic events. The September 11th terrorist attacks exemplified such a time.

Called Upon By Community Leaders

To assist the thousands of people who needed help in the aftermath of the attacks, many organizations and service providers were required to mobilize and respond. Safe Horizon did just that and assumed a lead role in coordinating New York City’s relief effort and in providing direct services to victims. We were able to assist people who were injured or displaced, those who lost loved ones, those who were traumatized and those who were economically impacted. Through partnerships with the September 11th Fund, the 9/11 United Services Group, and Project Liberty, we acted as a conduit; distributing funds and emergency services that were critically needed.

With the financial assistance distributed by Safe Horizon, people like Ramon and Lillian, an elderly couple from the Bronx, were able to recover without worry. Ramon and Lillian worked as elevator operators in the World Trade Center and suffered excruciating physical injuries during the attacks. Because of their serious injuries, they both spent most of their time in hospitals, doctor’s office, and physical therapy instead of with each other. Safe Horizon helped Ramon and Lillian reclaim lost wages and cover the cost of their medical bills.

Helping Those Affected Heal

Our hotline immediately became a central resource for anyone seeking information relating to September 11th services. We developed a comprehensive Resource Referral Guide that was disseminated broadly so clients and service providers knew where to find specific types of help. We joined the City in staffing the Center at the Lexington Avenue Armory to serve as a meeting place for people looking for information and services. We were one of the first organizations to offer crisis counseling and support to people coming to the Armory searching for loved ones, who were evacuated from their buildings or who lost their job. Our community trauma response team was activated and provided hundreds of forums throughout the five boroughs for groups of individuals to come together and discuss their reactions, learn strategies for managing those reactions and learn how to access additional resources and help. We provided immediate financial assistance to victims through the Crime Victim’s Board. Many survivors who were anxious about seeking services at a City-sponsored location or who were traumatized by returning to Manhattan accessed help at our Community Program Offices. Two of the many people who sought help and began healing at our Community Program Offices are Carlos and Franklin, who were inseparable co-workers.

Carlos and Franklin were shoe-shiners at the Twin Towers. They were so distraught that neither could leave their home for months. Carlos was too upset to open up about his feelings until he arrived at the Disaster Relief Assistance Center. After Carlos spoke with a Safe Horizon counselor, he started to work with one of our caring social workers. After the first few weeks, Carlos spoke about his healing process with Franklin, who then also decided to talk to someone. We were able to provide both Carlos and Franklin the supportive services they needed to help them cope and begin to move forward with their lives.

Our Everlasting Impact

Carlos, Franklin, Ramon and Lillian are only some of the many people affected by the tragedy of the attacks we were able to assist. In fact, during the four years following the September 11th attacks, we distributed more than $250 million in emergency financial relief from the September 11th Fund, and touched the lives of over 55, 000 individuals and companies affected.

As an agency, we learned a great deal from providing these services in a time of crisis. In 2014, we were called upon to provide emergency assistance following a tragic explosion of a residential building in East Harlem. Even though this more recent tragic event was not near the magnitude of the September 11th attacks, it was largely due to the lessons learned more than a decade earlier that we were able to able to mobilize and respond with help when people needed it.

As we look back on the September 11th attacks 17 years later, we are proud to have been part of relief efforts along with many other organizations. When such an event of this magnitude occurs, it takes more than one organization to be able to help all those affected. Many agencies, organizations and individual responders helped our fellow New Yorkers in a time of crisis and we appreciate the opportunity to have been part of the effort.

Dave Navarro Message About Suicide

Thoughts of suicide can be overwhelming, scary or even leave you feeling hopeless. If you’re a survivor of abuse such as domestic violence, gun violence or sexual assault, your traumatic experience may make you feel overwhelmed. Trauma responses can make you feel, think, or react in ways that feel out of your control. This can include thoughts of suicide. Please know that there is help available.

In honor of World Suicide Prevention Day, we are sharing some important words from our friend and #PutTheNailinIt ambassador Dave Navarro who has struggled with suicidal thoughts. He is a trauma survivor himself, losing his mother to domestic violence when he was a teenager. We share his statement as a reminder that help is available and there are people who care about your well-being, and that it is possible to heal and move past the darkness you may be feeling today.

Read Dave Navarro’s statement below:

“I can’t speak to anyone else’s thoughts or actions but I can speak from my own experience. I have been there, written “the note”, had the plan, the stockpile of meds, how to disperse my property among my family. I was ready to go. Luckily, as a last ditched effort, I reached out. I spoke to my closest friends and loved ones. I sought therapy and at times, psychiatry, alternative medicines, even hospitalization. Whatever it took. What I learned is that through the process, circumstances and feelings shift. As the tide comes in and rolls out, the universe takes many shapes and constantly evolves. We are made of the same stuff. We are constantly changing and evolving and flowing… sometimes scary, sometimes beautiful, sometimes lonely, sometimes supported. Hang in there to allow the process and the shapes to change. I can tell you 100% that they do. Please reach out if you find yourself in the darkness. There is no darkness without light. Try to be willing to let it find you.”

Read Dave Navarro’s statement on Instagram.

If you find that you, or a loved one, is struggling with thoughts of suicide, please know that help is available here at Safe Horizon and at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Everyone is worthy and deserving of a life of safety and peace.

If you’ve been the victim of a crime, violence or abuse, or you’ve lost a loved one to violence we’re here to help. Call our 24-hour FREE and CONFIDENTIAL Crime Victims Hotline at 866-689-HELP (4357). Help is available in any language.

If you’re struggling with thoughts of suicide or self-harm, please call the 24-hour National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). If you are in distress, there are professionals who can help you navigate these difficult feelings.

If you are in danger or in need of emergency services, please call 911 for immediate assistance.

Catholic Sexual Abuse Investigations Announced In New York New Jersey

HuffPo
By Carol Kuruvilla
September 6, 2018

Weeks after Pennsylvania’s attorney general released a damning report on child sexual abuse in six of the state’s Roman Catholic dioceses, officials in New York and New Jersey have promised to bring justice to victims in their own states.

On Thursday, New York’s Attorney General Barbara Underwood subpoenaed all eight Roman Catholic dioceses in her state as part of an investigation into how leaders have handled abuse allegations in the past, a law enforcement source told The Associated Press.

Later that same day, New Jersey’s Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced the creation of a special task force to investigate Catholic clerical abuse in his state. The group, composed of detectives and prosecutors, will have the power to use subpoenas to compel testimony and the production of documents.

Michael Polenberg, vice president of government affairs for Safe Horizon said that obtaining these documents from the New York dioceses could help unearth decades of abuse and cover-up. Polenberg said his organization deeply appreciated Underwood’s announcement Thursday.

What the attorney general is doing is really laudable,” Polenberg told HuffPost. “It’s shining a light on the darkest secrets and giving all New Yorkers the opportunity to know what’s happening in these dioceses.

Along with launching an investigation into Catholic clerical abuse, Underwood is also urging New York’s legislature to pass the Child Victims Act, which would extend the amount of time that victims have to file civil and criminal suits. One version of the act would also open a temporary window for victims to revive old cases that fall outside the existing statute of limitations.

Read the original article here.

In Police Stations Help for Crime Victims Is Closer to Home

The New York Times
By Ashley Southall
August 27, 2018

One day in July, a detective approached Jeri Bacchus inside an East New York police station. The officer was investigating an assault in which a woman in her 60s was pushed to the ground and beaten after she refused to give the attacker money she had withdrawn from an A.T.M., Ms. Bacchus recalled.

The victim had received a bill for $785 for the ambulance that took her to the hospital after the attack, but she couldn’t afford to pay and her health insurance didn’t cover it, Ms. Bacchus said. The detective asked her if she could help.

Yes, she could. Ms. Bacchus, an advocate for crime victims, called the woman into the station, where together, they filled out paperwork requesting money from the state to cover the bill.

We’re just waiting to hear back,” Ms. Bacchus said in an interview last week.

Ms. Bacchus is one of 157 professionally trained advocates the city has placed in police stations across the city as part of a program designed to build trust between the police and victims who bear the financial, physical and psychological burdens of crime. Last week, the department announced it now has victim advocates in all 77 precincts and nine housing police service areas, completing the rollout of a plan announced in 2016.

Some crime victims can move on with their lives relatively quickly, but others may struggle mentally, emotionally, physically and even financially, Susan A. Herman, the deputy police commissioner for collaborative policing, said in an interview. Victims share a need to feel safe, to recover from the trauma and to regain a sense of control of their lives, “and that’s where the advocates come in,” she said.

Commissioner Herman said the victim advocates program was designed to help crime victims get access to a range of resources available to them, whether that is finding counseling, filing for victim’s compensation, changing locks or obtaining emergency housing transfers, among other options. Providing those services encourages people to report crimes and helps reduce the chance that they will be victimized again, she said.

As they understand both the psychological and very concrete ways advocates can help you,” she said, “then I think more and more people will be comfortable realizing this happened to me, this is someone I need to talk to.

Having advocates inside police stations helps to reduce the time between when a crime occurs and when victims get services, victims’ rights groups say. But the advocates also go out into neighborhoods and make home visits to reach victims who don’t trust the police and won’t come to a police station, like immigrants fearful of deportation and many of the young, black and Latino men in the city who often distrust officers and are most likely to be victims of violence.

The city provides funding for the $12.5 million program through the Police Department, and it is staffed by Safe Horizon, a nonprofit that provides services to victims of violence. All but six precincts will have two advocates, one dedicated to domestic violence and the other focused on general crime, such as shootings, robberies, and car thefts. Police officials said they were monitoring whether more advocates would be needed in areas with higher crime.

The advocates not only respond to new crimes but also reach out to victims of past ones. Advocates have combed through more than 500,000 police reports since July 2016 and reached out to about 70,000 crime victims with letters or phone calls, city officials said in a news release. They have assisted 11,000 people in navigating access to services and the criminal justice system, according to the release.

They’re grateful and happy that I’m calling them,” Ms. Bacchus said.

Mai Fernandez, the executive director of the National Center for Victims of Crime, said the program in New York was a model of best practices for law enforcement agencies.

In order to really be able to investigate a case, they’re going to need the cooperation of the victim,” she said. “And they’re more likely to cooperate if they have somebody advocating for them.

Last week, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed legislation expanding the benefits available to victims to include the costs of cleaning up crime scenes and staying at domestic violence shelters. The law, which will take effect in February, aims to help victims of hate crimes and domestic violence who are not physically injured.

Chirlane McCray, the wife of Mayor Bill de Blasio, discussed the program with crime victim advocates and police executives last Wednesday at a round-table discussion inside a police borough command in Bushwick. The program is part of her ThriveNYC initiative focused on improving the city’s mental health system.

Ms. McCray said she was “tremendously moved” by the stories advocates shared of helping victims get back on their feet. “It’s working,” she said.

Read the original article here.

First Lady Chirlane McCray NYPD Announce Expansion of Crime Victim Assistance Program to Every NYC Precinct

Partnership with Safe Horizon helps crime victims navigate justice system.

Contact: pressoffice@cityhall.nyc.gov, (212) 788-2958

August 22, 2018 (BROOKLYN, NY) — First Lady Chirlane McCray and New York Police Department announced that the police department will provide more crime victims with the support and resources needed to recover from the trauma of experiencing a crime. The NYPD is expanding the Crime Victims Assistance Program (CVAP) to all of the city’s 77 precincts and nine Police Service Areas (PSA), making it the first police department in the country to make such a service available to crime victims citywide.

CVAP is a free and confidential program that pairs crime victims with trained advocates who help mitigate post-event trauma by discussing their safety concerns, legal rights, and ways to navigate the criminal justice system in a meaningful way. NYPD coordinates with Safe Horizon, the largest non-profit services agency in the United States, to provide crime victims with a number of resources, including crisis intervention, access to counseling and support groups, emergency housing or relocation assistance, and information on other local services that can help them with crime-related needs.

The pain and emotional vulnerability of being a victim of crime can linger long after the violence or violation has happened. In the safest big city in the country, we don’t want anyone to feel alone and without support,said First Lady Chirlane McCray, who leads the City’s mental health and substance misuse efforts.ThriveNYC is committed to ensuring all crime victims have access to mental health services. By expanding the Crime Victim Advocate Partnership to all 77 precincts and all nine Police Service Areas in NYC, any New Yorker who has been a victim of a crime will have access to the support they need.

This trailblazing program is the product of seamless collaboration with our partners at Safe Horizon, and New Yorkers’ willingness and ability to share responsibility for public safety,said NYPD Commissioner James P. O’Neill. “It is an invaluable resource for every New York City neighborhood as police officers and victim advocates work together to keep residents safe, and ensure that they feel safe, too.

CVAP allows us as a city to reach people in great need at a very vulnerable time—immediately following a crime,” said Deputy Commissioner for Collaborative Policing Susan Herman. “We are so pleased that victim advocates are now in every precinct and PSA in the city, making it more convenient than ever before to help victims of crime rebuild their lives.

Ensuring CVAP is available citywide supports a central goal of ThriveNYC, the roadmap championed by First Lady of New York City Chirlane McCray that aims to help New Yorkers better navigate the city’s mental health services. A major public awareness campaign will roll out this fall to ensure the public is familiar with the services CVAP provides.

In New York City no crime victim has to rebuild their life or navigate the system alone,” said ThriveNYC Executive Director Alexis Confer.I applaud First Lady McCray for her leadership in bringing this program to all precincts and PSA’s. I also want to thank the crime victim’s advocates for the important work they do every day to support survivors of crime in our city.

Since its launch in 2016, CVAP has helped thousands of New Yorkers feel safe and assisted in the aftermath of a crime. The program’s positive impact is clear: from the start of the program in July 2016 through July 31, 2018, CVAP advocates across the city have reviewed more than 500,000 police reports to help proactively identify victims who may be in need of their services. During that same time period, CVAP has interacted with approximately 70,000 individuals to make sure they are aware of their rights and options after being victimized by a crime, advocating for nearly 11,000 New Yorkers to help them navigate various services such as housing, mental health, public benefits, and the criminal justice system.

The Crime Victim Assistance Program (CVAP) makes key connections between victims and critical supports,” said Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office to Combat Domestic Violence Cecile Noel. “For victims of intimate partner violence, in particular, these supports are vital to addressing safety concerns, navigating the criminal justice process, and connecting to other support services and resources. We applaud this important and successful partnership between law enforcement and social services.

CVAP is part of the Department’s broader commitment to drive down crime and strengthen ties to local communities through innovative neighborhood policing. That same commitment made July 2018 the safest on record in New York City and places the department on track to finish 2018 under a total of 100,000 index crimes, which would be only the second time the NYPD has reached this milestone in the CompStat-era.

No one deserves to be a victim of violence, crime, or abuse. But when crime happens, it matters that a Safe Horizon CVAP Advocate is there to follow-up and help them. I am proud of CVAP advocates for helping victims in their time of greatest need, delivering services every day that are timely, client-centered and trauma-informed,” said Safe Horizon CEO Ariel Zwang. “Now, anyone who has experienced a crime can go into any NYPD precinct or Police Service Area to speak with an advocate who can help with safety planning, address practical needs, and begin the healing process. I am grateful to First Lady Chirlane McCray, Police Commissioner James O’ Neill, and Deputy Commissioner for Collaborative Policing Susan Herman for launching this remarkable program.

To find nearest NYPD precinct or Police Service Area for CVAP services, click here.

Safe Horizon is the largest non-profit victim services agency in the United States. We touch the lives of more than 250,000 children, adults, and families affected by crime and abuse throughout New York City each year. We provide compassionate and expert support for people who have experienced: Domestic and intimate partner violence, Child physical and sexual abuse, Rape and sexual assault, Human trafficking, Stalking, Youth homelessness, Violent crimes committed against a family member and within communities. Safe Horizon partners with governmental and other community agencies and also advocates for policies on a local, state, and national level on behalf of those affected by violence and abuse.