Sexual Violence Prevention at the State and Local Level

April 19, 2016
Hosted by Jessica Pirro

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Episode Description

Over the last few years, sweeping national attention has been shed on the issue of sexual violence in our communities, campuses and homes. For decades, the rape crisis community across the country has taken on the task of spreading awareness and education about this issue to their local communities. While awareness has increased, response protocols have greatly improved and multidisciplinary teams have emerged to combat this issue, we see the same startling statistics around rates of rape and sexual assault. The dial has moved very little in terms of seeing decreases in the prevalence of this issue. We are witnessing a nationwide trend of sexual violence prevention emerge and it is set within a public health framework. This week’s discussion will unpack what sexual violence prevention looks like, current modalities of prevention and trends, along with a state wide Coalition’s role and their perspective on the integration of prevention into historical rape crisis response work.

The Journey- Stories of Crisis and Hope

The Journey- Stories of Crisis and Hope

Archives Available on VoiceAmerica Health and Wellness Channel

When crisis occurs there is an emotional and physical impact to ones wellbeing. As a crisis first responder I have seen firsthand the impact of not dealing with crisis and trauma can have on a person’s sense of self, purpose and belief in happiness and hope. The Journey- Stories of Crisis and Hope will provide education and real life experiences dealing with various issues including mental health, rape, domestic violence, suicide. We will talk about the signs and symptoms of these types of crisis, how you can help yourself, a friend or loved one in order to save a life and restore a sense of hope. My goal is to have an open and honest dialogue to help you know that you are not alone, empower you to seek help and begin your road to a life you want and not be defined by crises that have occurred to you. We will share information on effective interventions, cutting edge programming and awareness of services that you can reach out to in order begin their process of healing.

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Jessica Pirro

Jessica Pirro

Jessica C. Pirro received her undergraduate degree in Child and Family Studies and her Masters of Social Work from Syracuse University. She is a NYS Licensed Master Social Worker. Ms. Pirro moved to Buffalo in 1997 and worked for Erie County to set up the Domestic Violence Unit, under the direction of the Wellstone/Murray Amendment Family Violence Option. She began working at Crisis Services in 1999 as the Supervising Counselor of the Advocate Program, the NYS Dept. of Health Rape Crisis Center, and a NYS licensed non-residential domestic violence provider. She was promoted to Coordinator in 2001. In 2006, Ms. Pirro was promoted to Associate Director, charged with overseeing all agency clinical operations 24 hours a day.

In September 2014, she was appointed as Chief Executive Officer and leads the agency’s crisis first responders helping those impacted by crisis with specialty areas around suicide prevention, mental health, domestic violence, rape, elder abuse and homelessness. She was recognized as one of Buffalo’s Business First’s 40 under Forty in 2010 and honored as an Advocate for Change by the It Happened to Alexa Foundation in 2008. She is Co-Chair of the Suicide Prevention Coalition of Erie County, serves as the Project Champion for the Millennium Collaborative Care DSRIP Crisis Stabilization project and is a member of the Health Foundation of Central and Western New York’s Fellows Program. She resides in Buffalo, NY with her husband, step-son and 2 fur kids.

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Episode Directory

August 2016

July 2016

June 2016

Kristin Adduci


Kristin Adduci, LMHC, earned her Master’s in Mental Health Counseling in 2006 from the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, ND. She has been with Crisis Services, in a variety of roles, since 2007. At the present time, she is the Program Supervisor for the Mobile Outreach Program and also has been acting as the Coordinator of the agency’s Crisis Intervention Team Training Project since 2012, where she coordinates and delivers training to law enforcement officers as they develop CIT teams within their jurisdictions. Kristin is presenting on local CIT initiatives at the CIT International Conference in April 2016. View Guest page

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Colleen Babcock


Colleen Babcock serves as Horizon’s Parent & Family Support Coordinator. Colleen strives to raise awareness about drug abuse in the community-at-large but also to help individuals and families struggling with substance abuse - particularly those with opiate addiction to access treatment and to begin and continue their journey to recovery. Colleen’s personal journey with her own son has provided her with education first hand as to how hard it can be to get help at moments of crisis; making her position crucial in midst of the current prescription drug/heroin epidemic. No family gets a manual on how to deal with addiction. Her focus is primarily on the family providing emotional support, hope, reassurance, information and advocacy to ensure their expedited linkage to treatment and support at their most critical moments. Colleen is also a Narcan administration trainer and has trained thousands of individuals in Western New York. View Guest page

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Amy Bleuel


After overcoming many obstacles in her life including bullying, rejection, suicide, self-injury, addiction, abuse and even rape, Amy has found strength and a love for others. Amy struggled with mental illness for 20+ years and has experienced many stigmas associated with it. She now shares her stories around the nation giving hope to others struggling with mental illness. Amy is the founder of Project Semicolon which she began in the Spring of 2013 to honor her father whom she lost to suicide. Through the semicolon symbol many related to the struggle of depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide and their will to continue on. “Project Semicolon” believe that this is not the end but a new beginning. View Guest page

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