SUNY is reaching out to help students act quickly in the event of sexual violence.
Two resources, the SUNY Sexual Assault & Violence Response card (SAVR) and the Keynect Up phone card download, will be making their way around the SUNY Cortland campus during April, Sexual Assault Awareness Month, bearing the words “There for you when you need to be there for a friend.”
Nan Pasquarello, the College’s Title IX coordinator, and others will be passing out what look like business cards. But the cards can connect a SUNY student, faculty or staff member by internet with whatever services they need following a sexual assault or to help a friend in that situation quickly and on the move.
The SAVR cards can locate nearby resources by zip code when the individual isn’t close to campus and identifies the Title IX resources on all the SUNY campuses as well as state and national domestic violence hotlines and shelters. SUNY has provided the campus with the SAVR cards for free.
The Keynect Up phone card is a simple download to a cellphone by texting the word cortlandt9 to 444999.
“I’ve purchased enough Keynect Up cards for all members of the campus community to download all safety and resource information into their phone,” Pasquarello said. “It’s a free resource to people.”
The Keynect Up cellphone contact card also outlines SUNY’s amnesty program so victims or their companions who have taken drugs or alcohol will learn they don’t need to fear adverse action if they call for help when a sexual assault or relationship violence has occurred.
Plus, the Keynect Up cellphone card download contains links to more information about the definition of affirmative consent, the Student Bill of Rights, sexual and interpersonal violence response, and options for confidentially disclosing sexual violence.
“It’s a nice creative way to get all this information into their phones in case they ever need to help somebody else,” Pasquarello said. “Most people don’t think they’ll ever need the information themselves, but they would be willing to put it into their phone in case someone else needs it.”
During April, the College plans two weeks of daily activities plus many other events aimed at making SUNY Cortland an exception to the sobering statistics facing college campuses nationwide: During their time in college, 1 in 5 women and 1 in 16 men are sexually attacked, 40 percent of survivors fear reprisal by their attacker and only 2 percent of incapacitated rape survivors report their assault.
The College’s involvement for several years in the It’s On Us and GreenDot educational movements of bystander responsibility to help stop sexual assault and relationship violence aims raise awareness on campus and encouraged more campus members to report and address issues.
“It’s On Us” is a national awareness program aimed at ending sexual assaults on college campuses. Launched by the White House in 2014, the campaign asks men and women across the U.S. to make a personal commitment to step off the sidelines and be part of the solution to campus sexual assault. Pasquarello encourages campus community members to take the ‘It’s On Us’ pledge by visiting It’sOnUs.org.
For more information, contact Pasquarello at 607-753-2263.