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Building Strength through Awareness

A collection drive for stuffed animals and teddy bears is in progress as part of the We Care campaign, which brings volunteers together to make "survival kits" for victims of sexual assault.  

ALBANY, N.Y. (April 10, 2017) – In recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, UAlbany’s Advocacy Center for Sexual Violence and the Office of Equity and Compliance and Title IX are collaborating to offer a series of events for the campus community and the community-at-large designed to raise awareness about the prevention of sexual violence.
Empowered Bystanders will be recognized in a ceremony Friday, April 28. More than 2,000 students have taken the training.

We Care 2017

 UAlbany and Albany Medical Center will co-host We Care on Monday, April 17 at 6 p.m. in the SEFCU Arena. The event, in its third year, is designed to offer support to those affected by sexual violence through the assembly of “survival kits” for Albany Medical Center’s Sexual Assault Forensic Examiners Program.

This year, the goal is to assemble 300 kits, which include items such as clothing, underwear, socks, toiletries, nominal gift cards, teddy bears and an encouraging note from the community. The kits are designed for men, women and children.

A collection drive for bears and other stuffed animals is ongoing, and donations of new stuffed animals, no larger than 10 inches high, can be made to Chantelle Cleary in the Title IX office, University Hall 104.

UAlbany’s Five Quad Ambulance Service and Mohawk Ambulance Service, along with UAlbany and Albany Medical College students, form a human assembly line and pass the packages along until they reach the ambulances where they are packed safely for delivery.

The event strives to ensure that each survivor of sexual assault leaves Albany Medical Center with dignity and the knowledge that they are supported by a community that cares.

Sponsorship is provided by the Albany County District Attorney’s Office, Albany County Safe Harbour Program, Albany County Sheriff’s Office, CVS, Five Quad Ambulance, Subway, Walmart and R.J. Valente.

Project Shape Programs

Project SHAPE, a peer education program providing sexuality, sexual violence, and sexual health education programs to the University community, will also host special events in recognition of Sexual Violence Prevention Month, including:

  • Healthy Relationships program for Albany High School: April 11
  • Exhibit on sexual violence with intimate partner violence focus: April 18, from 10 am to 4 pm at UAlbany’s small fountain on the Uptown Campus.
  • Exhibit on sexual violence with a sexual assault focus: April 24, from 10 am to 4 pm

Project SHAPE programs are offered by the 50 student members along with UAlbany’s Advocacy Center for Sexual Violence. Students are trained and supervised by Carol Stenger, the founder and director of the program. Stenger is an accredited sexuality educator and sexuality counselor and has studied sexuality in five European countries as well as Russia.

Take Back the Night, April 27

In partnership with Albany County’s Crime Victim and Sexual Violence Center, UAlbany will present the 36th annual “Take Back the Night” rally and march against sexual violence on Thursday, April 27 at Page Hall, on UAlbany’s downtown campus.

The event is held internationally to show solidarity for victims of sexual violence and to stopping domestic, relationship and sexual violence in every form.

It will begin with a pre-rally on the green in front of Page Hall, which will include community tabling, music performances and poetry readings. Welcoming remarks and a survivor speak out will take place beginning at 5 p.m.

At 7 p.m. there will be a march through the streets of Albany to raise awareness about sexual assault in the community. The event will conclude with a candlelight vigil at approximately 8 p.m. on the Page Hall green.

Empowered Bystander Recognition

On Friday, April 28, UAlbany will host a ceremony recognizing bystanders who have made a difference in the fight against sexual violence. Nearly 30 students and 24 volunteer training facilitators will be honored for their work in this critical area. The event will be held in the University Hall atrium from 3 – 5 pm.

A positive bystander is someone equipped with the tools to safely and effectively intervene in violent situations, potentially violent situations, and behaviors that contribute to the culture in which violence frequently occurs.

The ceremony honors the efforts of a strategic plan launched in October 2016 to empower 25 percent of UAlbany students to become positive bystanders. All student athletes and student leaders participated in mandatory bystander intervention training, with 90-minute training sessions offered weekly to the entire University community.

Since it was launched, more than 2,000 students have received empowered bystander training and have pledged their commitment to making the UAlbany community a safer community.

Those still interested in training can sign up for one of the following April sessions:

  • Thursday, April 13, from 7 -8:30 pm
  • Tuesday, April 18, from 7 -8:30 pm
  • Wednesday, April 26, from 7 -8:30 pm

The bystander training continues the critical conversation started by UAlbany’s JustAsk campaign launched in September 2015 to raise awareness about sexual violence prevention.

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