Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Action Alert: Contact NY City Council to Restore Funding for Sexual-Assault Victims

A Message from the National Organization for Women-NYS Young Feminist Task Force
Action Alert: Contact NYC City Council to Restore Funding for Sexual-Assault Victims

The New York City Council has eliminated all city funding for rape crisis programs and the NYC Alliance Against Sexual Assault. Speaker Quinn's rationale was "to prioritize our funding to programs that were working directly with crime victims". Yet the programs whose funding has been eliminated do work directly with crime victims, specifically sexually abused children at Kingsbridge in The Bronx, teenaged victims of sex trafficking at Mt. Sinai in Queens and male victims of sexual violence at St. Luke's-Roosevelt Crime Victims Treatment Center. All these programs' services are free of charge for survivors, all were developed with City Council funding and all are now at risk of closing.

Tell Speaker Quinn that New Yorkers need these essential sexual assault services reinstated.
Speaker Quinn can be contacted at:
Phone: 212 788-7210
Fax: 212 788-7207
Email: quinn@council.nyc.ny.us 
More background info:
Just to give one example of how the cuts will affect survivors, here is info on The Mount Sinai Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention (SAVI) program, which is dedicated to supporting victims rebuild their lives by restoring hope, fostering resilience, removing stigma, and challenging the social norms that allow violence to exist. This is accomplished through emergency room advocacy, culturally sensitive trauma therapy, and public education programs.

The program serves a wide variety of individuals from all walks of life. The significant budget cuts to the (SAVI) program will severely impact the vital direct services they currently provide to victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, intimate partner abuse and commercial sexual exploitation (CSE).

City Council funding has been earmarked specifically to support the SAVI Commercial Sexual Exploitation (CSE) program, more commonly known as domestic and international human trafficking. CSE survivors receive individual therapy, intensive case management, and group counseling. They also have an internship program that provides life and work skill opportunities.

Due to the success of this program, they now have clients who are enrolled in higher education, employed full time, and/or reunited with their family.

Although these young people struggle against staggering obstacles and oppression, their courage and resiliency is truly inspiring. This devastating loss of funding prohibits our survivors from accessing these life-saving services that enable them to become productive citizens.

Please help us to raise community awareness, express our outrage, and protest these disastrous cuts by sharing this message with all your friends and colleagues, and reaching out to your local council members to reinstate funding in the 2011 budget.



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