On Wednesday, March 29, St. Peter’s Crime Victim Services, a division of St. Peter’s Health Partners (SPHP), held a news conference to formally kick off its inaugural “Paint the Town Teal” campaign in the City of Troy.
As part of the month-long effort, teal-colored flags and ribbons will be displayed throughout the city to show support for survivors of sexual violence and to raise awareness.
“Anyone can experience sexual violence, including children, teens, adults, and seniors,” said Lindsey Crusan-Muse, director of St. Peter’s Crime Victim Services. “Over half of women in the United States and almost one in three men have experienced sexual violence involving physical contact during their lifetimes. This is not ok. By painting the City of Troy teal, we hope to raise awareness of sexual assault, promote education and prevention, and let survivors know that we stand with them.”
One local survivor, Nicole, spoke at the news conference about what having that support means to her and to other victims of sexual violence. “Seven years ago, I was raped. I hid that fact from everyone I knew for a year. I couldn’t even say the words out loud to myself, nonetheless to anyone else. I was scared no one would believe me. I am not a victim anymore. I am a survivor. But I did not get to that point by myself. It is due in part to the help and support I received from St. Peter’s Crime Victim Services. The compassion that I have received from everyone in this agency has helped me find my voice.”
“Sexual violence is a pervasive problem that cuts across all sectors of our society. It is abhorrent and a blight on humanity,” remarked Mayor Wm. Patrick Madden, City of Troy. “The City of Troy is proudly joining St. Peter’s Health Partners in supporting the “Paint the Town Teal” event to raise awareness of sexual violence, send a clear message to survivors that you are not alone, and let the public know that help is available. If you or a loved one has experienced sexual violence, reach out to St. Peter’s Crime Victim Services at (518) 271-3257 for free and confidential services 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We must do all we can to support survivors and bring attention to this epidemic.”
Sexual violence is a broad term and includes rape, incest, child sexual abuse, intimate partner violence, sexual exploitation, human trafficking, unwanted sexual contact, sexual harassment, exposure, and voyeurism. The consequences can be long-lasting. Survivors can experience chronic health and behavioral problems and are more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol, and experience continued abuse later in life.
“Sexual violence leaves a lasting and complicated impact on victims. These victims are often left carrying a burden which becomes heavier as they navigate the criminal justice system. The District Attorney’s Office appreciates the education and targeted support provided by St. Peter’s Crime Victim Services,” said District Attorney Mary Pat Donnelly.
St. Peter’s Crime Victim Services has a long-standing partnership with law enforcement in the City of Troy and in Rensselaer County. The three organizations are members of the Rensselaer County Sexual Assault Response Team, which also includes professionals from counseling, advocacy, and higher education. All have a shared goal of reducing sexual violence within the community.
“The Troy Police Department is proud of our partnership with St. Peter’s Crime Victim Services, combining resources and specialties to assist our community members daily. Together, we are better able to support victims of crime,” said City of Troy Police Chief Dan DeWolf. “Additionally, through our participation in the Rensselaer County Sexual Assault Response Team, our members develop personal relationships with service providers within Rensselaer County and are exposed to impressive higher education regarding sexual violence investigations. We are a proud supporter of the inaugural “Paint the Town Teal” campaign in the City of Troy, hoping to show support for survivors of sexual violence and raise awareness amongst our community regarding the services available here.”
April is National Sexual Assault Awareness Month, National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (April 23-29).
In addition to displaying teal flags and ribbons throughout the city, St. Peter’s Crime Victim Services will be hosting a variety of events throughout the month to provide awareness and education within the community.
Tuesday, April 4: 8 a.m. – noon
Sexual Assault Day of Action
We will be painting SPHP teal and setting up tables at each of our hospitals to share our support services. Visitors can speak with advocates or forensic examiners to learn more about how to get involved.
- St. Peter’s Hospital 315 S. Manning Blvd., Albany
- Samaritan Hospital 2215 Burdett Ave., Troy
- Samaritan Hospital – Albany Memorial Campus 600 Northern Blvd., Albany
Wednesday, April 12: 11 a.m.
Come learn about TeleSAFE and how the program works.
Saturday, April 22: 10 a.m.
All-levels yoga class led by Cayce Beauregard, founder of Hello Yoga and forensic examiner with St. Peter’s Crime Victim Services.
Monday, April 24 8-11 a.m.
For National Crime Victims’ Rights Week we will be hosting an open house at the CVS main office at Samaritan Hospital and displaying the “Faces of our Advocates” photo project highlighting those who dedicate their careers to ensuring victim/survivor rights are respected. For more information, email Prevention.Education@sphp.com.
About St. Peter’s Crime Victim Services
St. Peter’s Crime Victim Services, based at Samaritan Hospital in Troy, is the only agency in Rensselaer County to provide specialized services, including education prevention, and crisis care 24 hours a day, seven days a week to sexual assault survivors and crime victims, and their families and friends. All services are free and confidential.
St. Peter’s Crime Victim Services also provides free services to individuals impacted by unhealthy or abusive relationships, such as counseling, therapy, support groups, and legal advocacy. For more information, please visit our website at sphp.com/crimevictimservices. The program also offers a 24-hour hotline for individuals in need, 518-271-3257.
Samaritan Hospital is an affiliate of St. Peter’s Health Partners.