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Listen and Support
Victims and Communities

Right now, our system does not treat all victims equally, and it is time for that to change. For women, people of color, and members of the LGBTQ+ community, having harm taken seriously and addressed meaningfully can be difficult, if not impossible. Tess will make sure that every victim who comes to the Bronx District Attorney’s Office is heard, supported, and helped. 


To do that, Tess will:


  • Provide resources and assistance to victims. Victims of crime need more than court dates and hearings. Tess will increase the availability of staff that can assist victims and connect them to services, and will not make assistance contingent on cooperation with prosecution.

  • Increase the training and resources for prosecutors charged with investigating and prosecuting cases of sexual violence. As a defense and civil rights attorney, Tess has represented victims of sexual assault and knows how often they are failed by prosecutors. She will work tirelessly to ensure that victims get the support they need, including trauma-informed interviewing and referrals to services.

  • Investigate and prosecute crimes based on identity. Hate crimes are on the rise across the country, especially anti-trans, anti-Asian, and antisemitic acts. All people, no matter their race, gender, religion, sexual orientation or immigration status deserve to feel safe. But, in the Bronx right now, these crimes are underprosecuted. Tess will change that. 

  • Increase outreach to immigrant communities. Tess will also focus the office’s community outreach on immigrant populations and create multilingual hotlines. Residents of the Bronx should know they have a safe place to turn to for help, regardless of their immigration status.

  • End criminalization of survivors. Survivors of violent crimes are often themselves criminalized in our system. They may also be ignored or even ridiculed. This problem is particularly acute for Black and Latina women and for members of the LGBTQ+ community. Tess will ensure that victims turning to the Bronx District Attorney’s Office get help without risking arrest and prosecution. 

  • Advocate for more community resources. Tess will seek expansion of hospital-based interventions for victims of violent crime. Research shows that these interventions are not only crucial for victims, but are also critical to preventing cycles of retributive violence. Tess will also advocate for the creation of trauma recovery centers throughout the Bronx that can centralize services, resources, and support for victims all over the borough. By disentangling resources for victims from the criminal legal system, we can ensure people who are too afraid of police or prosecutors to seek help still have avenues of support.

  • Assign individual prosecutors to neighborhood outreach. Tess will expand community outreach in the office by ensuring that every neighborhood in the Bronx has a specific person at the Bronx District Attorney’s Office they can reach out to for questions or help in their community. 


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