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New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault

N YC AG A I N S T R A P E . O R G • A N E W S L E T T E R F O R T H E A N T I - S E X UA L V I O L E N C E C O M M U N I T Y • S U M M E R 2 0 0 8



Partners and Peers: Sexual and Dating Violence Among NYC Youth New York Teens Victimized at Rate Nearly Twice National Average

The New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault and Columbia University Center for Youth Violence Prevention just released results from a threeyear survey on sexual and dating violence among New York City high school students. Information for the study was based on anonymous surveys of students who were asked about their personal experience with sexual and dating violence. Results from the ground breaking survey were shocking: • The percentage of New York teens reporting sexual violence is almost twice the national average • One in six (16.2%) report having experienced sexual violence in their lifetime • 89% of those who experienced sexual violence knew the perpetrator • 28% of those who perpetrated sexual violence against a dating partner also reported having carried a weapon in the past month • Among those who experienced dating violence, more than one quarter (27.4%) reported having been pushed or shoved by a dating partner, and 17% reported having been slapped or hit • Almost 10% of student who reported having a dating partner in the last year said that their partner touched them sexually when they didn’t want to be touched and 6.7% said they were forced to have sex against their will • Only 24.4% of youth experiencing sexual or physical dating violence sought help from a health professional, teacher or guidance counselor

Deborah Fry, Alliance Research Director and Harriet Lessel, Executive Director respond to reporters questions.


The Alliance formed a Youth Action Council (YAC) to discuss the results, make recommendations and take action against sexual assault among their peers. The YAC, comprised of eleven students from schools throughout the city, are involved in ensuring that young people know about services available to them by giving out the NYC Teen Health Map. The map is a foldable pocket subway map on one side and comprehensive adolescent-friendly services resource guide on the back. The New York City Department of Education has already ordered 10,000 of these maps. For more information on the survey and map, please visit:




The Alliance received a grant from the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services to improve detection, collection and utilization of DNA in cases of sexual assault. The grant will be used, in part, to create fellowships for medical providers. See back cover for the full story. More About the Youth Action Council (YAC): Members of YAC are on the move. Trained to provide their peers with information about services, they have developed assemblies in their schools, participated in SAYSO! and presented at the Brooklyn Association of Teen Educators 15th Annual Youth Conference and Theatre Festival. We are very proud of their accomplishments. A study guide to accompany the video “It’s Not About Sex” was developed by YAC members and other students working with the Educational Video Center. Learn more about the project and EVC at


NEW STAFF AT THE ALLIANCE: Meghan O’Connor, MPH, LMSW Director of Programs Five years of working on the issue of violence against women, both internationally and within the US has prepared Meghan for her position with the Alliance. As a mental health professional, she has advocated for and counseled survivors of sexual and domestic violence. At the Alliance she finds “…an opportunity to translate research into practice in a field so desperately in need of that.” In her spare time, Meghan enjoys running and competing in triathalons. Sultan Torshkhoev, M.D., MPA Sultan holds the newly created position of Health and Forensic Services Project Director. In this position, he works in collaboration with NYC health care providers developing new programs and initiatives, manages existing health and forensic projects, and supports health care partners. Sultan, a native of Chechnya earned his MD in Russia and spent 4 years working in hospitals in the Chechen war region. Before joining the Alliance, Sultan earned an MPA degree from NYU’s Wagner School of Public Services.

Benedict J. Monachino, Chairman of the Board of Directors the NYC Alliance Against Sexual Assault


Alliance Board Members: Ben Monachino joined the Board of the Alliance in 2005 and became chairman in 2007. Ben brings with him a professional commitment to the Alliance’s mission based on several years as an attorney in the criminal justice system working as a Principle Law Clerk to a Supreme Court Justice and a Commissioner with the NYS Crime Victims Board. His work assisting innocent victims of crime with their medical compensation benefits first introduced him to the Alliance. Also a Professor of Business Law at St. Joseph’s College, Ben runs a private practice in general commercial and business law. In March/April, the New York State Bar Law Journal published Ben’s article on the excellent work of the Crime Victims Board in enhancing rights of crime victims. “My interest in the plight of crime victims…strengthened my resolve to bolster the work of community-based advocacy programs working to help victims overcome their trauma,” Ben told us. “It was this awareness that attracted me to the important work of the Alliance.” “Since joining the Alliance Board, I have been part of the atmosphere of trust and respect for each other’s skills. The spirit of cooperation has made my job as Chairman easier.” Ben added. “I’m proud of what we have accomplished and honored to be a member and Chairman of the Alliance’s Board.” The Alliance is a recipient of the SAPPI Ideas that Matter grant through our graphic designer, Scott Santoro of Worksight. The IDM grant provides substantial resources to innovative nonprofits throughout the world, enabling them to implement creative ideas designed to support social and environmental causes. The Alliance utilized the grant to support our mission and goals by formally launching our brand with the development of our new brochure as well as this year’s captivating SAYSO! design by renowned artist Luba Lukova.



Program Discontinued: The Long Island College Hospital (LICH) is discontinuing its counseling and education services to rape, sexual abuse and domestic violence survivors as of 6/30/08. The LICH Rape Crisis Intervention/Victims of Violence Program opened in 1984 as the only rape crisis program and the first Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner program in Brooklyn.


First in Staten Island: Richmond University Medical Center in Staten Island recently received its designation as a Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner Center of Excellence from the New York State Department of Health. We applaud their efforts to improve services to rape victims in the borough.

The Alliance will continue to work with LICH and other service providers in Brooklyn to ensure that the best care is available to survivors.


ARISE: A new coalition in NYC, ARISE (Action Research for Immigrant Social Empowerment) addresses the issues surrounding gender-based violence among immigrant communities. Joining The Alliance in the coalition are, the Arab American Family Support Center, Garden of Hope, Planned Parenthood, NYC, Sakhi for South Asian Women and Sauti Yetu Center for African Women.




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Fax your completed form to 212.229.0676 or mail it to: NYC Alliance Against Sexual Assault, 27 Christopher Street, 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10014 The New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault is a 501(c)(3) corporation. Gifts are fully tax-deductible to the extent of the law.


Board of Directors: Mary Anderson, Treasurer Madeline Bryer Larry Busching Erica Garcia Nathan Lubow Jennifer Mercurio Benedict J. Monachino, Chair Kristina Pappa, Secretary Shirley Traylor Hope Wachter Susan Xenarios Executive Director: Harriet Lessel

Study Reports Startling Results The New York City media reported on results of the study, “Partners and Peers: Sexual and Dating Violence Among NYC Youth” carried out by the Alliance and the Columbia University Center for Youth Violence Prevention. See more information about the study on page 1. Alliance Announces Fellowship for Health Care Professionals The Alliance proudly announces the creation of SAFE Health Care Professional Development Fellowships. Funded by the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, the Fellowships will support health care community leaders who would like to play a significant role in the fight against sexual assault. Fifty awards will be presented in two rounds: 25 for Fall NewThe Yorkaward City Alliance 2008 and 25 for Spring 2009. offers a challenging but rewarding package aimed at increasing the fellows’ Against Sexual Assault professional development and contributions to the field of sexual violence response in New York City.

theTorch 27 CHRISTOPHER STREET N E W YO R K , N Y 1 0 0 1 4

New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault

Design: Worksight

The Alliance welcomes applications from individuals who meet the criteria described on the website: New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault

The Torch Newsletter  

New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault

The Torch Newsletter  

New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault