“SUNY’s Got Your Back” Launches to Support Victims of Sexual and Interpersonal Violence

April 4, 2016

SUNY Title IX Coordinators Association, State Coalitions Against Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Kick Off Community Service Effort

Albany – State University of New York Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher today announced the launch of "SUNY’s Got Your Back," a project led by the university system’s Title IX Coordinators Association to provide backpacks of personal care items for victims and survivors of sexual and interpersonal violence, distributing them to shelters throughout the state.

SUNY is partnering with the New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault (NYSCASA) and the New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NYSCADV) on the project.

"As a national leader in the prevention of Sexual Assault and Interpersonal Violence, and a public university system with a physical presence in every New York State community, SUNY is compelled to do all it can to provide comfort for victims and survivors as they cope with what can be a tragic, life-changing event," said Chancellor Zimpher. "The SUNY Title IX Coordinators Association is an innovative, resourceful, and committed group. Thank you to the many campus representatives and volunteers, and our partners, for making this project possible."

"Every day, men, women, and children seek assistance from rape crisis and domestic violence shelters across New York State, often with little more than the clothes they are wearing," said SUNY Associate Counsel and Title IX Project Coordinator Joseph Storch. "The goal of ‘SUNY’s Got Your Back’ is to provide ongoing support for these individuals while also ensuring that more of the money shelters and other response organizations have can be spent on critical support and services."

"Students, faculty, and staff at SUNY's campuses across the state have been working to address issues of domestic and sexual violence in their communities in a variety of ways," said Lisa Evaneski, Title IX Coordinator at SUNY Oswego and President of the SUNY Title IX Coordinators Association. "We are proud to build on those efforts and pull together now in this first united initiative."

"The ‘SUNY’s Got Your Back’ project engages campus community members in sending a positive message of support for victims and survivors of sexual and interpersonal violence, as well as the community-based victim advocacy programs that serve them," said NYSCASA Executive Director Joanne Zannoni.

"The project signifies the launch of a groundbreaking collaboration between SUNY’s Title IX Coordinator’s Association, New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault, and the New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence," said NYSCADV Executive Director Connie Neal. "The leadership exhibited by the Title IX Coordinators to provide resources and support for survivors of domestic and sexual violence is commendable, and I am excited to work with SUNY to strengthen relationships between campuses and community-based advocacy programs across the State of New York."

The initial goal of the project is to provide 2,016 backpacks from SUNY campuses to local centers and shelters. Personal care items were donated by JM Murray of Cortland, and bags sponsored by The New York State Police Campus Sexual Assault Unit. Each backpack includes personal care items such as shampoo and soap, as well as other items that can assist victims and survivors.

For more information about "SUNY’s Got Your Back" project, including photos of the launch, click here.

In September, SUNY released two 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. 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. The second 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.

About SUNY Title IX Coordinators Association
SUNY Title IX Coordinators Association helps Title IX Coordinators and team members across SUNY’s 64 campuses to develop programming and processes in prevention and response. By working collectively, leadership and members of the Association work to leverage the strengths of all SUNY campuses to serve students, employees, and local communities.

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, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, a law school, the country’s oldest school of maritime, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.4 million students amongst its entire portfolio of credit- and non-credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide are nearly $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2023, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are more than three 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 opportunities, visit suny.edu.

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