NYSCASA’s Love Letter to Survivors

Dear Survivors,

Firstly, we believe you. We understand how much it hurts to see the media and general public picking apart a survivor’s account to try to discredit them. We understand you’re not the judgment they cast against you. We hear you. We see you. We are unconditionally standing in solidarity with you. 

Secondly, it’s okay to have a complicated story. It’s okay to not remember everything. It’s okay to have conflicting feelings about the person or people who harmed you. It’s okay not to report to law enforcement. It’s okay to wait years before coming forward. It’s okay to speak up. It’s okay to not fit society’s mold of the “perfect victim.” Despite feeling lost, we promise you are never alone. 

Finally, we are here for you. If you have experienced sexual assault, abuse, or harassment, know that resources are available to you.

If you are in need, call on experienced and caring professionals in your community.

  • Call the New York State Hotline for Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence for 24/7, free, and confidential support at 1-800-942-6906, or contact your county’s rape crisis center: https://www.nyscasa.org/get-help/find-your-local-rape-crisis-program.
  • Text or chat with a professional at the Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence. New Yorkers seeking help can text 1-844-997-2121 or chat on OPDV’s new confidential website at www.opdv.ny.gov
  • Find culturally appropriate domestic violence and sexual assault support services:
    • Black survivors can contact Black Women’s Blueprint: 1-347-533-9102
    • Deaf and hard-of-hearing survivors can contact IGNITE: DeafIGNITE@gmail.com or 1-585-286-2713
    • Latina/o, Latinx. and Spanish-speaking survivors can contact Casa de Esperanza: 1-651-772-1611
    • LGBTQ and HIV-affected survivors can contact the Anti-Violence Project: 1-212-714-1141
    • Native survivors can contact the StrongHearts Native Helpline by calling 1-844-7NATIVE (1-844-762-8483), or Seven Dancers Coalition: www.sevendancerscoalition.com/resources-in-nys
    • Transgender and gender non-conforming survivors can contact the Trans Lifeline Peer Support Hotline: 1-877-565-8860
    • Survivors whose primary language is not English can call Womankind’s 24-hour multilingual helpline: 1-888-888-7702
  • Find parenting support in your community by calling 1-800-CHILDREN (1-800-244-5373) or find COVID-specific parenting resources on PCANY’s website: www.preventchildabuseny.org/covid-19-resources-and-response
  • Individuals concerned for the safety of a child and/or worried about their own thoughts and behaviors can call the Stop It Now Helpline at 1-888-PREVENT (1-888-773-8368).

When the world seems to cast an insurmountable shadow of darkness, we are here to help you find the matches and light your path. 

Love,
The New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault