A Message from Executive Director, Reina Schiffrin:
Dear Friends, I hope your new year is off to a great start! Last year was full of exciting change, new initiatives and goal setting here at VIBS. I have concluded my first year as the Executive Director and have had the opportunity to reflect on the work of our dedicated team — advocates, attorneys, counselors, educators, nurses, administrators and volunteers. Here are some highlights from 2019:
Our 24/7 crisis hotline answered 2,463 calls to those in need;
VIBS counselors saw over 1100 clients in 10,000 group and individual sessions;
The Community Education and Outreach team provided training, prevention workshops and outreach in schools, libraries, residential facilities, businesses, non-profit organizations and community programs to almost 10,000 individuals;
Our Attorneys and Legal Advocates served 943 clients by providing court accompaniment, safety planning, legal consultation and advocacy;
VIBS secured a partnership with a fourth hospital in Suffolk County — Long Island Community Hospital, where our trained nurses and forensic examiners (SANE/SAFE) have private space to conduct exams on victims; and
The SANE/SAFE clinicians and volunteer Rape Crisis Counselors tended to 279 cases of rape/sexual assault in Emergency Rooms.
Over the past month, we continued to raise awareness about our organization and the importance of our work in the community and beyond. Our community partners supported us in a big way — donating gift cards, clothing, personal and food items for our holiday drives. Some of our local supporters included Target, LK McLean Associates P.C., Miss Long Island, Zodnar Inc. Warrior of Global Health, Juiced Technologies and Amvets Post 48. In addition, donors participated in our annual year-end appeal, Spirit of Giving, raising over $5,700 — an increase of over 50% from last year. We appreciate those of you that selected "VIBS" as your charity of choice. Your giving matters to us and we are so pleased to have you as part of the VIBS donor family.
I encourage you to stay connected with VIBS. If you follow us on social media, please follow our hashtag #goodVIBSin2020 for updates, resources and information. Visit our website for notices about community events and programs. Stay informed about new laws — like Bail Reform that affect our clients and the community; and share information and resources for survivors and community members. Volunteer with VIBS!
There are many opportunities for you to be involved, and we look forward to working with you. Do you know someone (a group) that would benefit from a community workshop or presentation? Do you have a business or work in a professional space that would display VIBS’ brochures? If so, give us a call today at (631) 360-3730.
All good wishes for 2020,
Miss Long Island 2020, Madison Argandona, donated $380 worth of gifts cards to Target, Walmart and CVS.
Michelle Clifford of Nesconset (left) and Christine Zeck-Bodnar of Holtsville (right) from the “Warriors of Global Health” wellness group, visited VIBS and donated over 50 stockings filled with goodies for women and children that receive services.
Our clients were overjoyed at this special gesture. One client, a mother and domestic violence survivor, cried tears of joy and said, "This is for me? This is amazing! I never get anything…this is so special. Thank you so much."
Volunteer at VIBS
"It is an honor to work with the dedicated people here at VIBS and to help in whatever way I can to bring fun and happiness in a safe and jpyful place for the children in Childcare. In life often it's kindness that matters the most. Just some of the smallest things we do with kindness can mean everything to someone." -Steve N., Volunteer at VIBS
Pictured above, Steve volunteering his time in the children's area during the 2019 Walk the Walk event.
Celeste M., longtime Case Manager at VIBS, has been working with community members on holiday drives and other initiatives that support families in need in Suffolk County. This year we collected turkeys at Thanksgiving, new toys for a holiday drive and gift cards. We are grateful for the support of Assemblyman Doug Smith, the Kevin Williams Foundation and Todd Jusas, long time friend and VIBS supporter.
"We are so grateful to these amazing people for making the lives of our clients so much richer. It is not only the gifts, it is the comfort given to our families knowing that they have others out there that care about them and support them."
-Celeste M., Case Manager at VIBS
The Suffolk County Sexual Assault Nurse Examination (SANE)/Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner (SAFE) program is a collaborative program sponsored by VIBS, the Suffolk County Police Department, Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office and our four partner hospitals — Good Samaritan Hospital, Stony Brook University Hospital, Peconic Bay Medical Center and Long Island Community Hospital. The program provides free and confidential forensic exams to victims of rape and sexual assault.
The goal is to provide compassionate, trauma-informed medical and forensic care to survivors. The examinations are performed by highly qualified and specially-trained medical practitioners who carefully collect evidence — within 96 hours of the assault.
January 2020 welcomed a new group of nurses to VIBS to complete training for the SANE/SAFE program. Training includes a comprehensive overview of VIBS services, policies, documentation and injury assessment; equipment review, including camera, colposcope and alternative light source; meeting with gynecological teaching associates (GTAs); and conducting practice exams and simulations in the Stony Brook University Simulation Lab. During the simulations, preceptors take note of empathetic care toward the patient receiving care. Being able to feel a patient's emotions will help the provider deliver more compassionate care and make the patient feel more comfortable during treatment. Training also includes a lecture on pediatric care. Each trainee receives an application from the Suffolk County Police Department to review the investigation process. This leads to a Suffolk County Contract and makes them expert witnesses. They will also hear a lecture from the ADAs office on Human Trafficking and strangulation.
For additional information about the SANE/SAFE program, please visit vibs.org/safe/.
SAVE THE DATE
VIBS is pleased to announce that Rachel Lloyd will be the featured speaker for the annual Spring Author's Luncheon. Ms. Lloyd is an anti-trafficking advocate, author of Girls Like Us and the founder of GEMS, Girls Educational and Mentoring Services.
In addition, VIBS will be honoring our community partner — BACA(Bikers Against Child Abuse) at the Luncheon for their service and dedication and for empowering children to not feel afraid in the world in which they live.
The Luncheon will take place on Thursday, May 7 at Flowerfield in Saint James, NY, and will include a special reception and book signing with Ms. Lloyd. Ticket information coming soon! To learn about sponsorship opportunities, please contact Paige Carbone at (631) 360-3730 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Victims Information Bureau of Suffolk is a 501(c)(3), non-profit organization. All contributions are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. To learn more about giving opportunities, visit vibs.org/donate/.
VIBS Family Violence and Rape Crisis Center 185 Oval Drive | Islandia, New York 11749 631-360-3730 | email@example.com