Friday, March 12, 2010

62% of those surveyed in BKLN know sexual violence victims

The NYC Alliance Against Sexual Assault publicly unveiled the research results of Phase II of Project ENVISION on the morning of Tuesday, March 2, on the steps of City Hall. Attended by News 12, World Journal, NYC Watch, NYC Newsservice, and WBAI Radio, the press conference detailed the findings of the first study of its kind in the five boroughs, conducted in three New York City communities: Manhattan's Lower East Side, the South Bronx and Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Project ENVISION documented the perceptions, beliefs and opinions on sexual violence of 570 New Yorkers in those pilot communities.

Harriet Lessel, Executive Director at the Alliance, explained that while each community had varying responses to the questions presented by Project ENVISION, "One thing about this is very clear: sexual violence is a public health problem."

Of the three communities surveyed, the following answered "Yes" to the question:

"Do you know someone who has experienced sexual violence?"

    * 54% in Lower East Side, Manhattan
    * 39% in the Bronx
    * 62% in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Lessel also noted, "an overwhelming response within all three communities was that working with youth was a very promising practice." Including:

    * 59% of respondents in Manhattan;
    * 55% in the Bronx; and
    * 54% in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Meghan O'Connor, Director of Programs at the Alliance further expanded upon the results, noting that in terms of root causes, Project ENVISION yielded similar results in all three communities. O'Connor noted, "The most frequently identified root causes were alcohol and drug abuse; gender inequality and gender stereotypes; and lack of education. Also, across the board, working with families was ranked among the top three recommendations."

As for Project ENVISION's next steps, the insight and recommendations from the research results will be used to lay the groundwork for prevention programs across the city with the goal of reducing the incidence of sexual violence in the coming years. Through Project ENVISION, the Alliance hopes to measure changes in the social norms and community conditions which contribute to sexual violence in each of the three pilot sites. Project ENVISION marks a giant leap forward for how sexual violence is perceived and dealt with in this city, and as a public health crisis it will be treated, community by community.

Project ENVISION received funding from the New York City Council and the New York State Department of Health.

For more information about Project ENVISION please visit: http://svfreenyc.org/programs_prevention.html

read more: SVFREENYC.ORG

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