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VIBS — Victims Information Bureau of Suffolk

ALERT COVID-19:
Please visit our Resource page for information. 

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As of Monday, June 29, 2020, VIBS will begin providing in-person appointments to clients in crisis. The staff will also continue providing all services remotely. Only those with an appointment will be permitted into the building.No children under age 12 will be allowed into the building at this time. All those entering our offices will be screened to ensure safety, including a temperature check. A face covering is required.
Please continue to monitor our website and social media platforms for updates.

Governor Cuomo has announced a travel advisory for all individuals traveling to NY from states with significant community spread. Individuals traveling to NY must quarantine for a 14-day period upon arrival from the following states: Alabama, Arkansa, Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nevada, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Utah.

 

Hours of Operation
Monday – Thursday 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Friday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. 
Online chat available at VIBS.org. Crisis hotline available 24/7 at (631) 360-3606.

Please check our website and social media for updates, resources and timely information.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 9, 2020

VIBS Receives Social Impact Award at 2020 Long Island Imagine Awards

On Wednesday, July 8, VIBS received the Cerini and Associates Social Impact Award for outstanding work done in the community, for clients, and for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.

The award winner was announced live as part of the Virtual 2020 Long Island Imagine Awards and included six total categories to recognize excellence in nonprofits. Other finalists for the 2020 Social Impact Award included Options for Community Living, Family Service League, and Special Olympics. All finalists were asked to create a short video articulating their mission, all of which were shown as each award category was announced.

“At VIBS, every client matters. We support people with their transformation from victim to survivor and we are truly honored and grateful to be the recipient of this award,” stated Reina Schiffrin, Executive Director of VIBS.

“The entire family of Independent Group Homes Living (IGHL) and the Board of Directors applauds the VIBS’ staff for providing free and confidential services to hundreds of families in need every year,” stated Walter Stockton, CEO of IGHL.

The recipient of the Social Impact Award also receives a $5,000 stipend; this stipend will go directly to VIBS’ programs and services, including our Adult, Teen and Children’s counseling programs, Community Education, Legal Services, Advocacy Services and the Sexual Assault Nurse/Forensic Examiner (SANE/SAFE) program.

VIBS is thrilled to be the recipient of the 2020 Social Impact Award and we are truly honored to be in the company of so many amazing organizations who work tirelessly to serve our most vulnerable community members.

Contact: Reina Schiffrin, Executive Director
VIBS Family Violence & Rape Crisis Center
Office: (631) 360-3730 | 24/7 Hotline: (631) 360-3606 |  rschiffrin@vibs.org  |  www.VIBS.org

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Congratulations to our newest
SANE-A class

Diane Botto
Beth Costa
Alison Figmonari

Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANEs) are registered nurses (or advanced practitioners) who have completed education and clinical preparation in the medical forensic care of sexual assault patients and then passed specialized board certification tests. Fewer than 1% of the nurses in the world have either of these advanced certifications. VIBS’ SANE team now has 6 practitioners with one or both of these exclusive credentials. Our other team members with this distinction are Michelle Tepper NP-C, SANE-A, SANE-P, Tara Accavallo BSN, RN, SANE-A, SANE-P, and Kate Morales RN, MSN FNE SANE-P.

Additionally, Shantae Rodriquez RPA-C, a Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner (SAFE) has also completed advanced training in the medical and forensic care of both adult/adolescent patients and in the care of pediatric patients although she is not eligible to sit for this board certification due to its restriction to nursing candidates only.

Keep up your great work! We could not be prouder of this amazing team!

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A MESSAGE FROM EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, REINA SCHIFFRIN

 

VIBS is pleased to announce that in response to the Governor of New York “reopening” the state and entering Phase 2 in Suffolk County, we have welcomed back staff to the agency as of June 15. We remain closed to clients, visitors and the public until further notice.  All of our services continue to be provided remotely. Courts are continuing via Skype and virtual appearances. Certain essential cases are being conducted n person at the discretion of the court.

In addition to limiting the number of employees at the agency at the same time and staggering schedules, several precautions have been put into place to ensure the safety and well-being of the staff including:

  • Staff are required to wear a mask when utilizing shared spaces and common areas in the agency
  • Protective equipment including sanitizer, gloves and masks is being provided to staff
  • Personnel will maintain social distancing unless safety or core function requires shorter distance
  • Staff are required to perform a screening upon entry that includes a temperature check and screening questions to ensure that they are healthy and have not come into contact with a COVID-19 positive person in the past 14 days

The health and safety of our staff is of the utmost importance. We will continue to monitor the announcements from the Governor and officials in Suffolk County, and inform our clients and the community of any changes. If you have any questions or concerns, please call (631) 360-3730 or email info@vibs.org.

We look forward to seeing you all soon!

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SUMMER NEWSLETTER

June 2020
Click here to read our summer newsletter and stay connected! 

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VIBS’ Statement on George Floyd’s Death
For Justice. For Peace.
  

“Nonviolence is a powerful and just weapon, which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it. It is a sword that heals.”  -Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

As an organization that seeks to create futures free of violence, VIBS Family Violence and Rape Crisis Center stands in solidarity with all who are mourning George Floyd — as well as Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and countless others who lost their lives due to senseless acts of hatred, bias, racism and cruelty. People of color have been subject to oppression and hate crimes for hundreds of years, and as an organization that opposes all forms of abuse, we pledge to address the need for true systematic change and continue our mission — whether that be violence by a domestic abuser or violence rooted by institutional racism and power.

To meet violence with violence dishonors the core tenets of the civil rights movement, and results in destruction of the very people and neighborhoods that have already suffered too much. Every violent act plays right into the hands of those who would deny our common humanity, as it changes the dialogue from justice to order.

No lasting progress is achieved alone. VIBS thanks and supports all advocates and partners, both locally and globally, for their efforts to dismantle structural racism and discrimination that underlie police abuse of force and so many other forms of wrongfully condoned violence. It is way past time to address the intersection of all forms of oppression and to recognize the power that lies within determination and unity. Together we can seek equality and social justice for all members of our community. Together we can stand up against the continuation of racism in our words, actions and structural systems. Together we grieve with the families who are mourning the death of their loved ones who have lost their lives unfairly.

At VIBS we will never discriminate against a survivor who is in need of our services. All of our programs are free and available for people of all races, genders and backgrounds. We are dedicated to the community that we serve and remain committed to the power of nonviolence.

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VIBS Responds to new Title IX Regulations

New Title IX Rules Released Cause Discouragement for Survivors  

[ISLANDIA, NY, May 21] – The Department of Education has announced its final regulations governing campus sexual violence allegations that shift the burden to the student filing a complaint and limit survivors’ access to a violence-free education. The new rule, which is scheduled to take effect on August 14, 2020, seeks a reduction in Title IX investigations, making it hard for victims of sexual harassment to come forward, requiring schools to ignore many instances when survivors do ask for help, and denying fair treatment to victims when they try to use a system that is supposed to protect them.

“While the rule includes important provisions that promote fair process, it falls short in protecting students’ access to education,” noted Taryn Kutujian, Community Education Manager at Victims Information Bureau of Suffolk, Inc. (VIBS).

As an organization dedicated to creating futures free of violence, VIBS does not support regulations that undermine the purpose of Title IX and NY’s Enough is Enough law. We believe the new Title IX rules will make students feel less safe overall. These new regulations pose many problematic components — including unfair investigation and hearing procedures; the mistreatment of victims by failing to provide meaningful support to survivors; no notice of religious exemptions, which can be especially harmful for women, girls and the LGBTQ+ community; and a higher standard of proof for sexual assault and harassment cases.

“Survivors should not have to worry about important protections offered under Title IX being retracted — especially during a global pandemic. Victims should instead be supported and offered the protections and resources they need,” stated Reina Schiffrin, Executive Director of VIBS.

The new rule ignores the fact that Title IX is a civil rights law, not a criminal law. Individuals who may be wondering whether their situation falls under Title IX can request a free consultation with VIBS Legal Services Department by calling (631) 360-3730.

The National Women’s Law Center has created a fact sheet with more information about the new regulations. It can be found by visiting NWLC.org. Additional resources related to Title IX can be found by visiting health.ny.gov/prevention/sexual_violence/ and nysed.gov.

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If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Taryn Kutujian at (631) 360-3730 or email tkutujian@vibs.org.

 

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Virtual Legislative Day of Action 
 Members of the VIBS team joined New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NYSCADV), advocates, survivors, community members and allies for 2020 Virtual Legislative Day of Action (VLDA) on May 12, 2020. We raise our voices and relay a unified message to the Legislature and Governor — we need to pass meaningful legislation to ensure survivors of domestic violence receive the support they need, and we must re-envision domestic violence funding so no one who is asking for services is ever turned away.
For years New York State has led the country in its demand for domestic violence services. Over the last two years the Victims of Crime Award grant has been dramatically reduced.
We must allocate significant state dollars to local DV programs to ensure victims receive the assistance they need to stay safe and protect their families. 

Follow #PurpleintheHouse #Safety4Survivors #DVSurvivorsNeedHelp and let your voice be heard!
Communicate with your State Legislators.  
Click here to find your Legislator in the Assembly.
Click here to find your Senator

Make a call. Send an email.

 

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VIBS is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) Public Charity, Tax ID: 11-2411984

Victims Information Bureau of Suffolk, Inc.  is a registered 501c3 and files annual financial reports with the Attorney General’s Charities Bureau. A copy of the latest annual report may be obtained, upon request, from the organization VIBS or from the New York State Attorney General’s Charities Bureau located at 28 Liberty Street, 15th Floor, New York, New York 10005.