The Alliance has compiled a number of resources available for survivors, their friends and families, and professionals assisting survivors in New York City.
Newsletter: Summer 2006: Alliance News
Films that Fight Back Festival
In March, the New York City rape crisis community celebrated the commitment of volunteer advocates at the Alliance's Films that Fight Back Festival. The festival presented four activist directors at The Clemente Soto Velez Cultural and Education Center in the Lower East Side.
Angela Shelton, director of the award-winning Searching for Angela Shelton, headlined the event. On a cross-country journey to find all the other Angela Sheltons in the US, Shelton found that more than half of the 40 Angelas she found had also been victims of rape, domestic violence, and childhood sexual abuse.
Shelton co-hosted an audience discussion with her fellow directors Jane Wagner, Tina DiFeliciantonio and JP Chan. Wagner, a Broadway playwright, and DiFeliciantonio co-directed Two or Three Things but Nothing for Sure, a film based on the work of Dorothy Allison, a best-selling author and survivor of childhood sexual abuse. Chan's work, Take It or Leave It, a short film about dating safety, won this year's Black Maria Film Festival Directors Citation.
Pause Button Awareness CampaignThe Alliance is proud to announce the release of the Pause Button poster and tool kit. Designed to spark discussion among middle school boys, the Pause Button Awareness Campaign uses a sexual assault awarenessraising poster to reach boys between the ages of eleven to thirteen. The campaign aims to reinforce boys' positive masculinity and strengthen their moral compasses.
Evaluation surveys of the poster showed that its computer-game imagery is both memorable and effective with this age group. The poster was evaluated in after-school programs in New York City. The New York State Department of Health funded the research and development of the project. Pre-poster focus groups and formative research were conducted by Applied Research and Consulting. Yoe! Studios designed the poster itself. The New York City Council funded the evaluation conducted by the Michael Cohen Group.
It is free to rape crisis centers and other groups working with adolescents. Please contact the Alliance to receive copies.
Alliance FarewellsSummer meant the departure of two of our graduate interns, Katie Bower and Kajori Chaudhuri. Katie served as the Alliance's policy analyst. Her sharp perceptions and stealth wit gave shape to our Policy Statements on such important issues as the statute of limitations, and human trafficking and the sexual exploitation of youth.
Kajori served as the Alliance's organizer of the Sexual Assault Yearly Speak Out. Kajori's beaming smile and quiet patience brought a roomful of fiercely independent opinions to enthusiastic consensus and action.
While we will sorely miss these talented women at the Alliance, we look forward to the revolutions they will lead in the wider world.
AddendumIn the Spring Torch, guest author Rachel Lloyd, the Executive Director of Girls Educational and Mentoring Services (GEMS), wrote that GEMS is the "only social service provider in New York City specifically providing services to young women involved in sexual exploitation."
While GEMS may arguably provide the most comprehensive services - from transitional housing and counseling to academic tutoring, artistic workshops and professional internships - there are other specific services for commercially sexually exploited teens. In general, adolescent and homeless youth programs such as the Paul and Lisa Program and shelters run by the Department of Youth and Community Development and Safe Horizon can also serve them. Below is a list of those created specifically for this group:
Brooklyn: The STAR Project
In 2004 the Brooklyn DA's office started the STAR (Saving Teens at Risk) Project. STAR operates a six-week program for sexually exploited people up to the age of 21 which offers a variety of services.
Queens: Operation Guardian
In 2005 Mayor Bloomberg announced the creation of Operation Guardian, a pilot program out of the Queens County District Attorney's Office in partnership with the Mt Sinai Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention (SAVI) program. SAVI operates the health component of the program that provides mental health services, as well as medical and legal advocacy. Another piece is the development of a residential placement facility that will provide short-term and emergency housing as well as counseling, medical, and educational services. The program also includes a prevention project to be implemented in schools and shelters.
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Supporters gather on the steps of City Hall