SUNY Releases Custom “Sexual Assault & Violence Resources (SAVR)” to Support Victims

September 2, 2015

Web-based Tools Designed for College Students Can Assist All New Yorkers Looking for Help

Albany – Following Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s announcement today of a public awareness campaign to educate students about “Enough is Enough,” the State University of New York has released two new web-based tools to support victims of sexual assault or interpersonal violence, whether the victim attends a SUNY school or lives in any one of New York State’s communities.

Both tools can be customized for use by states and colleges nationally at no cost; and they can be found easily by typing “SUNY SAVR” or any combination of “SUNY Sexual Assault & Violence Resources” into the Google search engine.

Governor Cuomo said, "New York is the progressive capital of the nation, and we are proud to take on tough issues like changing the culture and mindset surrounding sexual violence on college campuses. That is why this law is so important, and every freshman or returning student should know the rules of behavior have changed."

“In the immediate wake of a trauma, it is imperative that colleges and universities provide students with accurate, comprehensive information about the support available to them both on- and- off-campus,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “Both of these new SUNY resources are the first of their kind in the country, and while we hope they are rarely needed, we are proud to make them available not only for our students but for all victims of violence in New York State.”

"SUNY continues to show it is a national leader in combating campus sexual violence," said U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. "The problem of sexual assault on college campuses is pervasive and too often swept under the rug. SUNY's efforts to combat sexual violence on its campuses and provide survivors with the support and resources they need serve as an example for other colleges and universities across the country." 

The first resource is a mobile website – SUNY Sexual Assault & Violence Resource (SAVR) – that lists all of the resources and contact information available by SUNY campus or zip code, including services and help organizations on-campus, off-campus, and statewide. It includes an “Exit Now” button that instantly clears the user’s internet history and redirects to a blank Google homepage, enabling victims to leave the page quickly and undetected, if necessary.

In addition to this safety feature, which was suggested by one of the SUNY students consulted during development, the site designates services that are available 24/7 and ensure confidentiality.

The second new tool is a multi-lingual resource – SAVR for Immigrants – that colleges and universities can customize to share critical information with immigrant students in their native language.

SUNY worked with experts nationally to develop this concise, two-page document that provides immigrant students with important information, should they become victims of sexual or interpersonal violence. The question-and-answer resource, customizable in 20 languages with more to follow, can help colleges comply with federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) regulations, which require institutions of higher education to provide written notices to victims that include visa and immigration resources available to assist students following an incident.

SUNY continues to seek volunteers who can translate the SAVR for Immigrants into additional languages. Volunteers are asked to contact Project Coordinator Joseph Storch.

Gwen Wright, executive director of the NYS Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence (OPDV) said, “OPDV is proud to support these two excellent new tools for the campus community. Featuring interactive, state-of-the-art technology and information, they will undoubtedly serve to help victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. These potentially life-saving tools exemplify New York State’s commitment to providing safety and support to college students and to all New Yorkers.”  

"SUNY continues to be on the cutting edge of campus sexual violence prevention and response work by introducing these amazing online resources that are easy for survivors to find and use," said Laura Dunn, the founder and executive director of SurvJustice who worked with the SUNY Sexual Violence Prevention Workgroup. "My hope is other colleges and universities will follow suit and make this the new norm to end campus sexual violence."

These new resources build upon SUNY’s national leadership in providing guidance for colleges and universities to comply with federal guidelines including VAWA, University-wide Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Policies, an international Study Abroad Clery Act and Title IX Policy for SUNY colleges, and many training sessions to help SUNY campuses prevent and respond to violence.

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, with 64 college and university campuses located within 30 miles of every home, school and business in the state. In 2015–16, SUNY served nearly 1.3 million students, including nearly 600,000 in credit-bearing courses and programs and more than 700,000 through continuing education and community outreach programs. SUNY students and faculty across the state make significant contributions to research and discovery, resulting in nearly $1 billion of externally sponsored activity each year. There are 3 million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunity, visit www.suny.edu.


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