Wyckoff Heights Medical Center is holding the Second Annual Sexual Assault Conference on Wednesday, April 3.
The free conference, organized by the hospital’s Violence Intervention and Treatment Program, will take place from 10:30am to 2:00pm and is open to the public.
“The conference offers support to victims and aims to educate the broader public about resources for the prevention and treatment of sexual and domestic violence,” said Marcy Zingman, violence prevention specialist and conference host.
A Center for Disease Control survey on intimate partner and sexual violence found that over 18 percent — or approximately 785,000 — of NYC women reported having been raped in their lifetime; 1.1 percent of women experienced rape in the last year. Based on estimates by the New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault, nearly 50,000 women are raped annually in the city, yet only about 1,500 are reported to the police.
“We want to raise awareness about sexual violence, amplify the victims’ voices and let them know that it is ok to speak up, that they need to be heard,” said Zingman.
The conference will kick off with a breakfast and networking session. Ann-Margret Foley, director of the Sexual Violence Prevention Program of the New York State Department of Health, will deliver the keynote address, followed by a survivor of sexual assault who will share her traumatic experience as well as her journey to recovery and healing.
The conference will conclude with a panel of experts including Anna Maria Diamanti, director of the Domestic Violence South Brooklyn Legal Services, K. Richardson of The Anti-Violence Project, Sergeant Joseph Alohan, chief of department/ Domestic Violence Investigations Unit, Kaitlyn Montgomery, assistant medical director of the SAFE program at Mount Sinai Hospital and Heejin Yoon, senior campus sexual assault coordinator with the Alliance Against Sexual Assault, among others.
“It’s been a little bit more than a year that the #MeToo movement really took off,” said Zingerman. “During the panel, we will be looking at the movement, its achievements and obstacles, and the work that remains to be done to continually raise awareness around the issue of sexual assault. We will also be discussing new laws that have been passed to address the issue and protect victims.”
The conference is part of the hospital’s Violence Intervention and Treatment Program, Brooklyn’s only hospital-based grant funded-program serving primary or secondary victims of domestic violence, sexual assault/rape or other crime. The program offers free, confidential services, regardless of sex, gender expression or immigration status. To learn more about the services at Wyckoff Heights Medical Center call 718-906-3846 or 718-906-3857.