On May 17, I had the opportunity to work and attend Joyful Heart’s 4th Annual Gala at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. As Joyful Heart’s Advocacy & Communications Associate, I was part of a team that informed attendees of one of Joyful Heart’s biggest advocacy efforts–ending the rape kit backlog–and helped them take action to do so. The night epitomized what’s so incredible about Joyful Heart’s supporters and why this work is so important.
As most events do, ours had a theme, How Will You Join? (The Joyful Revolution). In 2009, at Joyful Heart’s second Gala, the Joyful Revolution was born: a movement of our collective vision for a community that collaboratively ends the cycle of violence and abuse by turning toward the issues of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse. At last year’s Gala, the Revolution Continued as we honored the 15th anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which changed the way violent crimes against women are prosecuted and prevented.
At this year’s Gala, we asked the question How Will You Join? And it was answered in amazing ways throughout the night.
We started off with a letter writing campaign to members of More >
One of Endhtebacklog.org’s policy focuses is on ensuring healing and justice for survivors of sexual assault. There’s a lot of people behind this effort and we have tremendous respect for the work of those who help others cope with trauma. This work is not always easy. Today Chris Vargo, Joyful Heart’s New York Manager of Programs shares a bit about vicarious trauma and Joyful Heart’s Heal the Healers program.
Last month, the Joyful Heart Foundation brought individuals from two important worlds together to highlight a commonality between them: their shared risk for developing symptoms of what is known as vicarious trauma (VT).
The JHF Heal the Healers program views the community of individuals who have committed their lives to provide services to and seek justice for survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence and child abuse as healers, and we believe our healers must take care of mind, body and spirit. For this particular workshop, we brought together criminalists from the largest Medical Examiner’s Office in the United States, the NYC Office of the Chief Medical Examiner’s (OCME) Forensic Biology Department and the New York County Assistant District’s Attorneys (ADAs).
Both of these teams are integral to the efforts to achieve justice for victims of crime and More >
Joyful Heart was proud to sponsor the Lydia Martinez Celebration of Excellence, hosted by the New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault (NYCAASA) on Monday.
The Lydia Martinez Multi-Disciplinary Collaboration Awards were presented to five recipients in honor of the late First Grade Detective C. Lydia Martinez, a remarkable Special Victims Detective in New York City. I had the privilege of meeting Lydia and the strength, compassion and light that emanated from her were incredible. On Monday, her colleagues and friends, many of whom filled the room in which we were sitting, spoke about the indelible effect she had on their lives, the lives of the survivors she served and on the city’s collective response to sexual assault by law enforcement, prosecutors, advocates and medical personnel.
We were there on Monday to remember her legacy and celebrate work of those who follow in her footsteps: volunteer advocate Maegan Corcoran, Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner and Coordinator Glenda Guzman, Wyckoff Heights Medical Center Violence Intervention and Treatment Program Coordinator Deesha More >
The season championship game on October 30th, between the Bronx Gridlock and the Queens of Pain began with an awareness effort for www.endthebacklog.org. Joyful Heart’s communications and advocacy teams worked in collaboration with the members of the league’s community outreach committee by providing the two competing teams with t-shirts, which displayed the website address for www.endthebacklog.org, to wear during warm-ups before the final match. Tip cards, which provide detailed information about what the rape kit backlog is and offers resources to survivors, were also included in the bout program for the 2000 fans arriving to support their favorite team.
GGRD was 100% behind the idea of wearing the shirts and promoting the website when I first introduced it to them. As a member of this group of 60+ women, I bear witness to the tremendous strength and confidence each skater possesses, both on and off the track on a regular basis. The unfortunate reality, however, is that there are survivors of sexual violence among us, which is cause enough for us More >