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.”

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.

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