Albany, NY - August 8, 2016 - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the New York State Police is launching a campaign to raise awareness about campus sexual assault as students head to college for the fall semester. The campaign builds on outreach efforts underway by the State Police Campus Sexual Assault Victims Unit, which has been attending college orientation sessions and providing training for stakeholders across the state.
The eight-week broadcast radio, billboard and social media campaign will kick off on Monday, August 8. The billboards can be viewed here and here. The radio public service announcement can be heard here.
“New York State put into place the most aggressive laws in the nation to combat sexual assault on college campuses,” Governor Cuomo said. “This campaign builds upon our efforts and will help ensure students know their rights, and that they have the opportunity to earn a degree in a safe environment.”
“As students return to college in the coming weeks, this campaign is renewing our commitment to let people know that the culture has changed,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. “Under Enough is Enough, Governor Cuomo has put New York State at the forefront of the national conversation to show that campuses are no longer safe havens for sexual violence and that perpetrators will be caught and prosecuted. We’re calling on everyone to help us spread this message far and wide.”
The State Police CSAVU was created by the landmark “Enough is Enough” legislation, which Governor Cuomo signed into law in July of 2015. The mission of the unit is to reduce the incidence of sexual assault through a prevention education program, which includes orientation for college students, faculty and support staff, and training for stakeholders. The unit will also investigate campus sexual crimes that are reported to the State Police, and provide investigative support as requested by campus and local law enforcement agencies.
Eleven State Police Senior Investigators assigned to the unit have been placed in regions across the state, and serve as a resource for students, college and university staff, campus and local police, and victim advocates. The Senior Investigators have provided training for law enforcement agencies and other stakeholders, including the New York State Chiefs of Police, the SUNY Chiefs of Police, and SUNY Title IX coordinators.
The CSAVU has also held two regional training conferences in Syracuse and Buffalo. Additional training conferences are being scheduled, including a week-long conference in Albany that will be held on December 5.
State Police Superintendent George P. Beach II said, “Our investigators are working closely with colleges and universities on training and education to help reduce sexual assaults on campus. They are also ready to investigate and assist our local law enforcement partners to help bring justice for victims.”
Since the unit became operational last fall, it has investigated or assisted in more than 20 campus sexual assault cases. The State Police have also established a statewide hotline for victims to request State Police assistance: 844-845-7269.
To date, the CSAVU has partnered with the following colleges to provide sexual assault awareness outreach at summer and fall orientation sessions:
- SUNY Brockport
- SUNY Farmingdale
- SUNY New Paltz
- Elmira College
- Ellis Hospital Belanger School of Nursing
- Medaille College (3 sessions)
- St. Joseph’s College
- Five Towns College