The New York Governor’s Office announced $5 million in funding to help victims of sexual assault and domestic violence.
The governor’s office says the funding will allow the Office of Victim Services to partner with the State University of New York to supply and distribute 225,000 comfort bags to victims of sexual assault and domestic violence at hospitals, shelters and rape crisis centers.
Each comfort bag will contain personal hygiene products to assist victims with self-care like soap, a toothbrush and toothpaste, a comb, deodorant, a pen, notepad, a stress ball, and a message from a volunteer.
The bags will also contain information about available support services and educational materials to alert victims of their rights under state law.
The governor’s office says students will help assemble the bags and hopes it will educate students about sexual assault and domestic violence on campus.
The New York State Domestic & Sexual Violence Hotline (1-800-942-6906) offers help and information 24 hours a day in English, Spanish and other languages. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing can call 711. New York State also supports and funds community-based programs to assist victims of domestic and sexual violence and other crimes, including these Domestic Violence Resources, a network of victim assistance programs funded by the state Office of Victim Services, and Sexual Assault and Violence Response (SAVR) Resources—a multi-lingual resource created by SUNY to support SUNY students or any New Yorker in need of information and support.
The Office of Victim Services provides a safety net for crime victims and/or their family members, compensating eligible individuals for medical and counseling expenses, funeral and burial expenses, lost wages and support, in addition to other assistance, all at no cost to taxpayers. The agency also funds 222 victim assistance programs that provide direct services, including counseling, advocacy, and legal services, across the state. For more information, eligibility guidelines and to locate a victim assistance program, visit www.ovs.ny.gov or call 1-800-247-8035.