Domestic Violence Facts
Power of Drama Therapy
Group Poem
CANY Wins Heckscher Grant
Drama Therapy Trainings
Congratulations to CANY Program Director
The Pearl Gala:
CANY Celebrates 30 Years of Social Service

Keep an eye out for upcoming information on CANY's annual benefit-- this year celebrating our 30th Anniversary!
With incredible honorees and star performers lined up, be sure to
Save the Date!
April 29th, 2013
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Spotlight On: Domestic Violence Survivors
The past decade has seen a surge of support for "breaking the silence"  of domestic violence.  This "silence" is a silence that surrounds one of the most chronically underreported crimes in America.  Due to fear, shame, hope that the relationship will change, or a lack of resources, survivors are less likely to report incidences of domestic violence than victims of almost any other crime.

This means that the shocking statistics we read about domestic violence--that 1.3 million women are victims of physical assault by an intimate partner each year-- are, in all likelihood, lower than the actual rates of violence.

At CANY, our drama therapy groups with domestic violence survivors (both women and children) work to slowly give voice to that all-too-prevalent silence.  Through the creation of dramatic scenes, survivors are able to voice their stories from the safety of metaphoric distancing, in hopes of finding the strength and resilience to heal from the trauma of violence and abuse.  Below is CANY's humble attempt to add to the growing societal cry for awareness for domestic violence survivors and their stories. 
Domestic Violence Survivor Facts
  • 1 in every 4 women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.
  • Only approximately:  
    • 1/4 of all physical assaults
    • 1/5 of all rapes; and  
    • 1/2 of all stalking perpetuated against females by intimate partners are reported to the police.
  • In 70-80% of intimate partner homicides, no matter which partner was killed, the man physically abused the woman before the murder.
  • 30% to 60% of perpetrators of intimate partner violence also abuse children in the household.
  • Boys who witness domestic violence are twice as likely to abuse their own partners and children when they become adults.[1]
CANY's Drama Therapy Groups with
Domestic Violence Survivors

The trauma of domestic violence can impact a woman's psychological landscape, sense of identity and connections to others.  Feelings of shame, guilt, rage, isolation and disconnection frequently occur in the face of such abuse.  In seeking treatment, survivors may not be able to verbalize these feelings or may be too upset or overwhelmed to interact with care providers.  


In a CANY drama therapy group, these issues are addressed through the use of metaphor as a therapeutic tool.   

  • The creation of metaphors offers an alternative for clients who have difficulty verbalizing feelings and experiences.   
  • Clients are able to identify emotions and express themselves through character roles without having to immediately commit to the vulnerability of saying "this is my story," "this is me."  

Through the CANY model of drama therapy, the group structure creates a sharing community wherein relationships of trust can be restored and developed.  As clients work together to create stories and enact dramas, this generates a common experience and interpersonal identification.  As trust and empathy grows, survivors are likely to begin telling their stories in a more personal manner; feeling safe in the CANY group and in knowing the alternative strength-based roles they possess.   

"Globally and domestically, violence against women is pandemic...Women are the overwhelming targets of intimate partner and domestic violence. Everyone suffers. The women suffer long term social, emotional, physical and economic trauma. Their children, likewise -- girls being more likely to become victims, boys abusers...The societal costs are great: everything from increased poverty and homelessness to maternal mortality and expensive emergency health care provisions." [2]
From a CANY Domestic Violence Survivors Group:

Radiance-- a purple birthstone,

A favorite color representing so much:

From happiness to the unknown.

A woman of my heart

Who wouldn't stand to be hit,

A wise, warrior woman.

Images that can't be erased: mashed cookies and a bowl of ice cream,

The powerful innocence of childhood and

the sadness that that innocence cannot stay.

Purple grape seeds;

A preference for the green.

Royalty-- a daughter's favorite color.

A free spirit running,

no cares, no worries...

We are tired of crying.

We know our children are our blessings from God.

We see kindness and intelligence

in the mirrors that are our children--

Little hands wiping big tears...

There is strength here, in our tears.

Purple is the resilience and wisdom in this room today;

Purple is the freedom we are creating  

for ourselves, and for our children  

Right now.  

CANY News:
CANY Awarded Heckscher Challenge Grant

CANY is pleased to announce receiving a $37,500 challenge grant from The Heckscher Foundation for Children.

This grant will provide 168 drama therapy groups for youth at CARES High School, as well as a comprehensive outcomes evaluation of our programs effectiveness in helping youth with trauma histories build emotional and social skills and improve self concept

CARES High School, a special therapeutic public school within St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital, provides a full academic experience for students whose previous school performance has been limited by emotional and behavior difficulties, including alcohol or drug problems.

95% of the youth in this program have histories of traumatic victimization with resultant mental health challenges.


CANY is enthusiastic about starting this wonderful program at CARES, and meeting this challenge grant by raising an additional $37,500 in funding.


If you would like to contribute toward this goal, please feel free to donate to CANY online at or via post (225 West 99th Street, New York NY 11221).

There are still a few spots left for:

This experiential workshop will explore trauma
through a drama therapy lens, providing tools for clinical
and educational use with children and adults.

 Learn More & Register Today!

Or, call CANY at 212.222.1969 and speak to our trainers,
Heidi Landis,
RDT-BCT, LCAT and Meredith Dean, RDT, LCAT, CASAC-T.
And for our Westchester friends, don't miss our first ever Westchester-based training:
Congratulations to CANY's Program Director
CANY is proud to congratulate Program Director, Heidi Landis, on being awarded TEP credentials (Trainer, Educator and Practitioner) from the American Society of Group Psychotherapy and Psychodrama (ASGPP). Congratulations, Heidi, on all your hard work and continued professional development!

This March Heidi, and Program Manager Meredith Dean, will be taking their extensive experience in drama therapy overseas for a unique
international CANY training experience! 

Stay tuned for next month's E-news edition to find out where they went and see photos from their drama therapy overseas-excursion! 


[1] National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Public Policy Office. "Domestic Violence Facts."  

[2] Soraya Chemaly. (30 November, 2012) "50 Facts About Domestic Violence," Huffington Post.