May 22, 2020
The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of New York State
NYS State Capitol Building
Albany, NY 12224
Re: State Responses to Domestic Violence, Sex Crimes, and Campus Assault Complaints by Women of Color Continue to Delay, Deny Justice
Dear Governor Cuomo:
I write regarding current Domestic Violence and Campus Assault initiatives available to New York State Residents. I am a black female descendant of U.S. slavery, and these initiatives have failed repeatedly to assist me during such crises or on the road to recovery from the impact of gender-based or sexual violence against women. This cross is not mine alone to bear.
I write with authority on this issue (a very well-documented public record not unmatched by the private arsenal confirming the same):
I am Theresa Bailey, the pro se plaintiff of Bailey v. New York Law School, Case no. 16-cv-04283. Also named as defendants in the matter: Anthony Crowell, Deborah Archer, Barbara Graves-Poller, Howard Meyers, Erika Wood, Jeffrey Becherer, Victoria Eastus, Ella Mae Estrada, David Schoenbrod, and Oral Hope. I was forced to sue New York Law School after being attacked outside of the women’s restrooms on campus by Stephen Nesbit. My pleas to the NYPD, Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, Mayor DeBlasio’s Office, the Board of Education’s Office of Civil Rights, and multiple letters and in person requests for help to New York Law School were ignored, dismissed, mocked, and belittled by these offices.
I am Theresa Bailey, the young woman who is still combating sexual criminal acts against women in New York: https://abc7ny.com/woman-speaks-out-after-man-indecently-exposed-himself-outside-building/5986469/.
I am also a young woman who today in New York was in crisis, and in need help. At this point, the police have failed, Safe Horizons has failed, and multiple other existing entities and government offices operating in New York that claim to address crises involving or related to Domestic Violence, Campus Assault, or Sexual Assault have failed. So, I found myself on the phone with a 311 operator, barely able to speak, asking if there was any place, other than the offices that had already failed me, where I might receive help.
The premise of my letter is not to criticize but to inform (and most importantly to aid victims): as recent as early March 2020, when our nation was not in the thick of a pandemic, I had reason to contact Safe Horizons, the NYPD, and the Bronx District Attorney’s office. The handling of complaints of this nature, as well as services offered to victims (Safe Horizons), continue to be severely lacking. From personal experience I can tell you that victims do not receive quality services when we seek support from the NYPD or Safe Horizons – particularly if an incident occurred at a well-known or prestigious institution, or the incident would be inconvenient for people of influence. I first learned the NYPD discriminates against black women who report a sex crime in 2003, after I had a gun pointed at my head by a man who demanded I perform a sex act. (My experience reporting sex crimes to the NYPD has not improved over the years.) Post #MeToo, victims services and state avenues of redress continue to deny victims legitimate and dignified state sponsored recourse for these crimes. The denial of a legitimate state response, despite my speaking up, has had the most significant impact on my life.
I now place this matter on the broad and capable powers of the Governor of the State of New York. I hope that victims will gain a friend and advocate in the Governor of New York. As the Governor, I would hope that such failures would be unacceptable to you. I hope that your office will implement structures to ensure that victims of sexual and gender-based violence are treated with dignity, and that these vital state functions work properly.
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Content ID: GovernorCuomo30052020