Sexual Assault Demonstration Initiative (SADI)

Program Overview

Roughly one decade ago, the National Resource Sharing Project (RSP) established the Sexual Assault Demonstration Initiative (SADI) to address the challenges dual/multi-service programs face in reaching sexual assault survivors. SADI provided tailored resources, support, and replicable tools to enhance sexual assault outreach, services, and community partnerships in dual/multi-service programs. Six sites across the nation engaged in a multi-year process of assessment, planning, and implementation of new and enhanced services and organizational capacity building. The RSP SADI lessons learned and tools developed have informed efforts in the field, and several state sexual assault coalitions have adapted these materials to convene smaller-scale SADI projects within their states.

To learn more about RSP’s SADI, visit the RSP website.

NYSCASA now joins this group. NYSCASA’s Sexual Assault Demonstration Initiative (SADI) will provide selected sexual assault programs across New York State an opportunity to receive specialized support in the following areas:

  • Enhancing sexual assault advocacy services and outreach
  • Strengthening prevention activities
  • Mitigating vicarious trauma in professionals addressing sexual assault

The NYSCASA SADI is derived from the original SADI and informed by similar initiatives established by other state sexual assault coalitions.

Strategies

Collaboration through Cohort Learning

The NYSCASA SADI will implement a cohort learning model for training and technical assistance. The cohort learning model brings together peers for collaborative learning and problem solving.

During each 20-month period, NYSCASA will offer three different cohort groups:

  • one focused on strengthening sexual assault services and outreach (“Cohort A”)
  • one focused on fortifying sexual violence prevention activities (“Cohort B”)
  • one focused on mitigating vicarious trauma in professionals addressing sexual assault (“Cohort C”)

NYSCASA will also convene a cohort focused on developing student activists on campuses to respond to sexual violence. While that project will use a similar model, the cohort participants, timeline, and activities will vary enough from the three cohorts described above to warrant its own set of informational and application materials. For information about this project, contact Alissa Abbott: aabbott@nyscasa.org.

Site-Specificity

The NYSCASA SADI will focus on both organizational change (e.g., policy, structure, staffing, and organizational culture) and programmatic change (e.g., service provision, outreach, materials, and training). Community and organizational assessments will shape each site’s plans and strategies so that they are relevant to local contexts. We recognize that a “one-size-fits-all” model and pre-packaged resources and interventions are not sufficient.

Demonstration

The NYSCASA SADI will identify best practices and successful dynamics that can be used by other sexual assault programs. At the end of each cohort period, SADI sites will have an opportunity to share their successes and lessons learned with other practitioners in the field.

Lessons Learned

The NYSCASA SADI will be informed by lessons learned by sites that participated in the original SADI and similar initiatives across the U.S. Some lessons learned include:

  • It’s important to develop a clear organizational identity that communicates what services are provided so that the community is aware of what is available.
  • Policies and protocols should demonstrate explicit and agency-wide support for sexual assault advocacy, prevention, and mitigating vicarious trauma.
  • Effective sexual assault services cannot happen without an understanding and direct response to systemic racism and oppression.
  • Organizations must attend to the well-being of staff and the organization as a whole. This directly influences the quality of services that can be provided.
  • Enhancing sexual assault services in dual/multi-service programs might require acknowledging that sexual assault survivors are not always getting what they need.
  • It’s okay to acknowledge that there is opportunity for learning and growth.

Timeline

NYSCASA anticipates convening three 20-month cohort periods between February 2021 and December 2025.

During each 20-month period, NYSCASA will offer three cohort groups:

  • one focused on strengthening sexual assault services and outreach (“Cohort A”)
  • one focused on fortifying sexual violence prevention activities (“Cohort B”)
  • one focused on mitigating vicarious trauma in professionals addressing sexual assault (“Cohort C”)

 

Application Phase

During the application phase, NYSCASA will distribute the invitation to organizations to apply to become a SADI site for one or more of the specific cohorts. We will review the applications, and select five SADI sites for each cohort group.

Cohort Kickoff

NYSCASA will announce the SADI sites and hold an orientation meeting for the selected sites to kick off each cohort group.

Assessment Phase

During the assessment phase, NYSCASA will share census data and work with each SADI site to identify one or two populations to focus on for additional data collection. We will conduct, or we will assist the SADI sites to conduct, interviews and/or focus groups with community members. This information will drive the next phase.

Plan Development Phase

During the plan development phase, NYSCASA will help each SADI site identify areas of opportunity to strengthen their work internally and externally. We will provide training, technical assistance, and resources that respond to the issues identified in the assessments.

Plan Implementation Phase

During the plan implementation phase, we will assist sites with reviewing and updating organizational policies and practices related to sexual assault. We will collaborate to create and implement strategies to increase community awareness of agencies’ sexual assault services.

Lessons Learned Phase

Each cohort will culminate with a celebration of achievements, followed by sharing of lessons learned with the field.

What are important dates to remember?

Cohort Period 1

  • Application released: January 13, 2021
  • Informational webinar: January 28, 2021, 3:30-4:30pm
  • Application deadline for Cohort Period 1: February 10, 2021
  • Notification to participants for Cohort Period 1: March 3, 2021
  • Cohort Period 1 overall time frame: March 2021-August 2022

Cohort Period 2

  • Application deadline for Cohort Period 2: October 2022 (date TBA)
  • Notification to participants for Cohort Period 2: November 2022 (date TBA)
  • Cohort Period 2 overall time frame: November 2022-April 2024

Cohort Period 3

  • Application deadline for Cohort Period 3: June 2024 (date TBA)
  • Notification to participants for Cohort Period 3: July 2024 (date TBA)
  • Cohort Period 2 overall time frame: July 2024-December 2025

Requirements and Expectations

What is expected of a SADI site?

In each cohort, participants will be challenged to think critically about their agency perception in every community in their area, assess dynamics in their agencies, listen to communities and their needs, and, most importantly, enhance services to be reflective of the communities they serve. This journey will be based on the principles of community growth, critical reflection and introspection, an inclusive and equitable framework, and action driven.

Expectations of the SADI sites support successful outcomes and include:

  • a willingness to be open to self-examination and change
  • participation of one staff member who is in a leadership, decision-making position and one staff member who is in a frontline sexual assault intervention or prevention position in monthly activities (additional staff may participate)
  • review/use of information/materials provided by NYSCASA
  • participation in a 15-minute check-in call each month
  • collaboration with NYSCASA during each phase of the cohort
  • participation in a 1-2 hour activity each month (e.g., in-depth one-on-one technical assistance call, collective peer learning call, or training presentation)
  • equipment/technology needed to participate in videoconference calls, webinars, and other virtual meetings (e.g., computer with webcam and internet access)

What is the timeline?

During the assessment phase, NYSCASA will share census data and work with each SADI site to identify one or two populations to focus on for additional data collection. We will conduct, or we will assist the SADI sites to conduct, interviews and/or focus groups with community members. This information will drive the next phase.

During the plan development phase, NYSCASA will help each SADI site identify areas of opportunity to strengthen their work internally and externally. We will provide training, technical assistance, and resources that respond to the issues identified in the assessments.

During the plan implementation phase, we will assist sites with reviewing and updating organizational policies and practices related to sexual assault. We will collaborate to create and implement strategies to increase community awareness of agencies’ sexual assault services.

Each cohort will culminate with a celebration of achievements, followed by sharing of lessons learned with the field.

Will activities be held virtually or in-person?

Cohort activities will be conducted virtually until further notice. Once in-person events become safe again, we will reconsider holding an in-person meeting for cohort members.

Are there any costs or funding opportunities associated with this project?

While there is no subgrant opportunity, there is a limited amount of funding available to support SADI sites’ participation and successful outcomes. For example:

  • If we convene an in-person meeting, we will be able to provide travel stipends to support attendance.
  • If a SADI site identifies that updating their website to explicitly include sexual assault advocacy services is needed, some funds may be available to support this and similar measures.

We do not anticipate there to be any costs associated with SADI sites’ participation in this project beyond staff time.

Anticipated Outcomes

Sites that participated in the RSP SADI and in state-based SADI projects were surprised by what they learned about the services they provide. As a result of their participation in the SADI projects, they strengthened their capacity to meet the needs of sexual assault survivors in their communities. Community and organizational assessments will shape plans and strategies that are relevant to the local contexts. SADI sites will receive in-depth customized assistance, peer learning opportunities, and related support.

Programmatic outcomes of the SADI include:

  • Knowledge learned from the community and organizational assessments
  • Site-specific plans for enhancing sexual assault services
  • Increased numbers of sexual assault survivors served
  • Broader reach of sexual assault survivors served
  • Integration of active listening and trauma-informed approaches into sexual assault services
  • New group-based services to support healing from trauma
  • Increased community outreach focused on sexual violence
  • Development of multilingual and culturally specific services

Organizational outcomes of the SADI include:

  • Increases in perceived effectiveness of services and work with systems
  • Increased confidence for providing services, advocating in systems, and identifying sexual violence
  • Shared responsibility for providing sexual assault services
  • Clearer organizational identity as a provider of sexual assault services
  • New and revised policies and protocols to support sexual assault services

Eligibility

Any New York State-based organization delivering sexual assault advocacy and/or sexual violence prevention services in New York State is eligible to apply. Those who are interested in participating in one or more of the cohorts must complete the online application.

During each 20-month period, NYSCASA will offer three cohort groups:

  • one focused on strengthening sexual assault services and outreach (“Cohort A”)
  • one focused on fortifying sexual violence prevention activities (“Cohort B”)
  • one focused on mitigating vicarious trauma in professionals addressing sexual assault (“Cohort C”)

Organizations interested in participating in Cohort A (focused on strengthening sexual assault services and outreach) must be a dual domestic violence/sexual assault agency or another multi-service agency.

Application Process

How does my organization become a SADI site?

Those who are interested in participating in one or more of the cohorts must complete the online application.

  • Application released for Cohort Period 1: January 13, 2021
  • Informational webinar: January 28, 2021, 3:30-4:30pm (click here to access the recording)
  • Application deadline for Cohort Period 1: February 10, 2021
  • Notification to participants of Cohort Period 1: March 3, 2021

How will applicants be selected to become SADI sites?

Applications will be reviewed by a committee, and we will be making selections for each cohort based on individual, organizational, and geographic factors.

For example, for the prevention-focused cohort (“Cohort B”), we are looking to work with five sites within a single region during each cohort.

For all other cohorts, we are looking to work with one site from each of the state’s five regions during each cohort.

We will consider the individual and organizational attributes of applicants and how those strengths can promote their own and other cohort members’ successes.

How do I know what region I’m in?

NYSCASA uses the following geographical regions:

Regions in NY Name of Counties in Each Region
Central NY Cayuga, Chenango, Cortland, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga, Oswego, St. Lawrence, Wayne
Northeast Albany, Clinton, Columbia, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Greene, Hamilton, Montgomery, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Warren, Washington
Downstate Bronx, Kings, Nassau, New York, Queens, Richmond, Rockland, Suffolk
Lower Hudson Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Sullivan, Ulster, Westchester
Southern Tier Broome, Chemung, Delaware, Ontario, Otsego, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Tioga, Tompkins, Yates
Western NY Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Niagara, Orleans, Wyoming

What information is required in the application?

We ask for the following information in the application:

  • Your contact information and location
  • What county/counties you serve
  • Cohort selection (you can select one or more cohorts)
  • Contact information for frontline staff (advocates, prevention educators, or someone else who directly works with survivors)and leadership staff (someone in a leadership and decision-making position). While we encourage the participation of volunteers, we do not recommend listing them as a primary contact.
  • Describe your organization’s philosophy about sexual violence and how it is prioritized
  • Provide summary of sexual assault services
  • Provide summary of sexual violence prevention services
  • Provide summary of efforts to meet needs of survivors from marginalized communities
  • Provide summary of efforts to address vicarious trauma
  • Explain your main focus for participating in a cohort
  • Provide summary of outreach and engagement plan
  • Describe how your organization has used data to evaluate sexual assault services
  • Explain what community means to your organization and how you build community
  • Describe what changes you hope to see and how those changes will be measured

Questions/Contact

Who do I contact with questions?

If you have questions, please contact Josie McPherson, Senior Director of Systems Advocacy, jmcpherson@nyscasa.org, 518-482-4222 x315

Important Links

  • Download a PDF of this information, including sample application questions: click here.
  • Access a recording of the NYSCASA SADI Virtual Information Session hosted on January 28: click here.
  • Access presentation slides from the NYSCASA SADI Virtual Information Session hosted on January 28: click here.

 Get Help

If you have been sexually assaulted, call the New York State Hotline for Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence.

1-800-942-6906

 Find Crisis Centers

Search our interactive map to locate the center in your area.

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