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My weekly letter to the State of NY Crime Victims Board

Posted Oct 02 2009 3:07pm

The following letter is addressed to Joan Cusack, Heather Haskins, and the Rockland Family Shelter. Keep in mind, I never get a response from Ms. Cusack or Ms. Haskins regarding these recent letters. Ms. Cusack is a Board Member for CVB and Ms. Haskins, an employee at the Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence. Both of their jobs involve dealing with requests from victims of either DV or a crime, yet both fail to respond to my letters or follow up with me, and both are employed by the state of NY, and both work for a state funded program that "assists" victims of crime.


I have received yet another letter from CVB (3 per week), this time sending my information back to me, stating that they are returning my information because I lack information. As I stated last week and the week before that, I am working on getting that info from doctors, hospitals, insurance companies, and employers--this takes more than 3 days, one has to go through the postal service in order to collect necessary paperwork.

No one at CVB has been able to help me today, I call every week now because every three days they send me a new request, one more confusing and time consuming than the next, and this time, returning all of my information/documentation, asking me to resubmit my original request plus send back this new packet they sent me comprised of all of my old information--confusing to say the least. Again, this has become my fulltime job, except I do believe, in the end, CVB will turn me away and fail to compensate me for my medical treatments, making this entire process a waste of my time. This process is confusing, frustrating, and consuming--and no one gets back to me on this issue. It is difficult enough being a victim of brutal domestic violence, and to watch my abuser prevail while I suffer financially/physically, but I do believe that it is worse when programs that are designed to help crime victims make everyday life more difficult for survivors of crime and ultimately, can't actually assist anyone. If this is a program that is flawed, there are ways to fix it (I've made my own suggestions and have contacted the Governor about these issues and suggestions), and if it can't be fixed, and if it can't actually help victims of crime, then shelters should not encourage victims to apply.

Thank you

Maria Phelps
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