I can hardly believe that fall is here. While the back-to-school routines and schedules may look quite different for many of us, one thing remains the same; VIBS' commitment to the community and to our clients — the survivors. While we may not be able to connect in person at a tabling event, school or wellness fair, we continue to be creative in the delivery of our services and programs — keeping the safety of staff and clients first and foremost. I would be remiss if I did not thank our front-line healthcare workers, first responders and other essential employees for continuing to be diligent and dedicated to ensuring the well-being of others, while providing needed services. You are our heroes!

October was first declared as National Domestic Violence (DV) Awareness Month in 1989. Since then, October has been a time to acknowledge DV survivors and be a voice for victims. DV, also referred to as intimate partner violence (IPV), is defined as violent or aggressive behavior within the home, typically involving the violent abuse of a spouse or partner. VIBS is honoring DV survivors with a variety of educational and community programs. Visit our website and be sure to participate. All education programs are free, virtual and open to all. If you are part of a professional organization or group and wish to request a training session, please contact our Community Education/Outreach Department to learn more. We offer a variety of topics and can personalize the presentation to your needs. 

According to the CDC, 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men will experience physical violence by their intimate partner at some point during their lifetimes. At least 5 million acts of domestic violence occur annually to women aged 18 years and older, with over 3 million involving men. In 2018, the New York State Department of Health reported that DV related events for males increased 285% from the year prior. VIBS is pleased to announce that we will be starting a support group for men, run by our Counseling Department. To learn more, please contact us at (631) 360-3730. 

Our annual DV Walk the Walk will take place from October 19-25, 2020. Who do you walk for....? Our event will look different this year, but our commitment to DV survivors and educating the community about violence remains the same. This event will be a virtual experience, taking place over the course of a week to allow more community members to participate. This event will raise funds to support services for individuals and families who have experienced DV/IPV. We encourage you to join us and walk to support survivors on your time, in your town. For additional information and to register, visit Families, schools and groups welcome. Consider starting your own team! Prizes will be awarded to our top fundraisers and teams. Many special guests will be joining us live on VIBS' social media platforms, and I hope you will as well. 


Yours in solidarity, 




VIBS Executive Director, Reina Schiffrin and IGHL Board Member Michele Knapp were recently invited to participate in a podcast entitled, A Passion for Giving, along with Peter J. Klein, Chief Investment Officer and Founder of Aline Wealth. Discussion topics included VIBS' response to the uptick in domestic violence and abuse during the pandemic. Click below to listen to the interview on Apple Podcasts. 

Paige Carbone, Director of Development and Education, was recently featured on Plugged In To Long Island on WBAB and WBLI Radio. Click below to listen. 


VIBS Executive Director, Reina Schiffrin participated in a panel discussion with other non-profit leaders for Let's Imagine: Learning from the Leaders of the 8th Annual Long Island Imagine Awards moderated by Kenneth Cerini, Managing Partner of Cerini and Associates, LLP. Click imagine below to watch.

VOICES OF VIBS — Stories from Survivors

"For me, being a survivor is much more than just surviving my trauma. When I was in it I couldn’t recognize myself. I had no idea who I was or why I was even alive. Coming out on the other side has been a long process for me. Some days I wake up feeling like I’m still living through the trauma in the dark. Once I look in the mirror and see the truth to who I am, I find the light. After my trauma I’ve had to learn all over again how to love myself. I had to learn how to be patient with myself. I had to relearn what it means to truly be alive. And not just live, but be alive and have my eyes wide open to the beauty in the world. I had to learn how to take care of the beautiful person I am. I had to redefine me. By taking my healing process slow and crying when I need to cry and laughing when I need to laugh I have healed. And I’ll always be healing because my past is dark but what’s ahead of me everyday is bright. And today, the woman looking back at me in the mirror is the most beautiful survivor I’ve ever seen."

-Sami, VIBS client and survivor 

Hear more survivor stories during a Voices of VIBS webinar. Visit our website for more information and to register. 


"I give to VIBS for those who need safe spaces to be counseled and restored. Too many people in my life have had to suffer in silence and my hope is that others will be empowered to seek services, heal and be comforted..."

-Kathleen, Bohemia NY

To learn more about giving opportunities, visit or click below. 


VIBS Receives Grant for Veterans 

“We are grateful to the Catholic Health Services’ Suffolk County Marathon for awarding VIBS this generous grant to support our Veterans’ Counseling Program. Thank you Suffolk County, Race Awesome Inc. and Catholic Health Services for your coordinated efforts. As one of the counties with the largest populations of Veterans in NYS, it is critical that organizations like VIBS are available to provide free and confidential services to the women and men who have served our country.”

-Reina Schiffrin, VIBS Executive Director 

Above is: Kevin H. Butterfield, Assistant Director of Community Affairs for Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and Reina Schiffrin


VIBS Receives Violence Against Women Disabilities Grant 

VIBS is the recipient of the End Violence Against Women with Disabilities Grant through the Office of Violence Against Women. El Schneider joined the VIBS team in September as the Special Projects Coordinator for the Training and Services to End Violence Against Women with Disabilities Grant program through the Office of Violence Against Women. The goal of this grant is to assist domestic violence/sexual assault agencies, organizations providing services for people with disabilities and service providers for the Deaf to best work with clients who experienced trauma. Spanning three years, El will be coordinating the activities for the grant and helping VIBS better serve clients who are Deaf and clients with disabilities.

El has their MSW from Stony Brook University and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Hunter College. Their education and training focused on community organizing, project management and program development. Prior to coming to VIBS they worked at Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic where they were the Public Affairs Coordinator for Suffolk County. 


Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Supports SANE 

The Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (“CJCC”) of Suffolk County is pleased to provide VIBS with funding for the SANE/SAFE (Sexual Assault Nurse/Forensic Examiner) Program for 2021 under the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant. In 2019, VIBS had 279 cases of rape/sexual assault — and that number expected to grow. 

Rape Crisis Counselors (RCCs) are on-call to respond to any Suffolk County hospital to meet with survivors of rape/sexual assault, and are trained by VIBS and certified by the NYS Department of Health (DOH). If you would like to learn more about the SANE/SAFE Program and/or RCC training, please contact Karen Oprea at (631) 360-3730 or 


Commemoration Day 2020

VIBS recognizes Commemoration Day 2020 by going virtual this year alongside other Long Island organizations and agencies serving survivors. Together, we have created a video to honor those who have been impacted by violence and abuse, including those who have died as a result of intimate partner violence. Click the purple ribbon below to watch.



Left is El Schneider, Special Projects Coordinator for the Training and Services to End Violence Against Women with Disabilities Grant program through the Office of Violence Against Women.

To learn more about supporting survivors with disabilities, contact El at or (631) 360-3730.


VIBS Family Violence and Rape Crisis Center
185 Oval Drive  | Islandia, New York 11749
631-360-3730 |

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