April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. As part of its ongoing commitment to maintaining a safe and welcoming environment for all of its students, faculty and staff, SUNY Optometry has produced a public service video to create awareness about the resources that the College has available for reporting sexual violence. The video—featuring second year OD student Catherine Dardenne—can be viewed below:
“University Police officers take the Victims/Survivors Bill of Rights very seriously,” said SUNY Optometry’s Assistant Chief of Police Dapo Adurogbola. “We will treat all persons reporting an incident of sexual violence with dignity and compassion. We will investigate all complaints vigorously, with assistance from our law enforcement partners, and we can also provide access to available resources as necessary.”
Earlier this month, SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher announced the launch of “SUNY’s Got Your Back,” an initiative led by the university system’s Title IX Coordinators Association to support victims of sexual and interpersonal violence. The project will provide backpacks with personal care items for victims and survivors of assault which will be distributed to shelters within our community.
“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.”
The original goal was for SUNY system to provide a total of 2,016 bags of personal care items with SUNY Optometry pledging to provide 100.