The State Office of Victim Services has invested $5 million that will allow the State University of New York to distribute “comfort bags” to victims of sexual assault and domestic violence.
The 225,000 bags will be given to those seeking help at hospitals, shelters and rape crisis centers across the state.
Each comfort bag contains personal essential hygiene products to assist victims with self-care — soap, a toothbrush and toothpaste, a comb and deodorant — a pen, notepad, a stress ball and an affirming message from a volunteer.
Critically, the bags also contain information about available support services and educational materials intended to alert victims of their rights under state law.
By enlisting the help of students to assemble the bags, the program will also help to raise awareness on SUNY campuses of sexual assault and domestic violence issues.
The New York State Domestic & Sexual Violence Hotline (1-800-942-6906) offers help and information 24 hours a day.