UAlbany students put together ‘survival kits’ for sexual violence victims at Albany Med

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – UAlbany held its second annual “We Care” event where students packed “survival kits” for sexual violence victims who receive treatment at Albany Medical Center.

Hundreds of volunteers came together Tuesday to call attention to the impact of sexual assault. Students packed about 250 bags that contain comfort clothes, toiletries, and inspirational notes.

The items included in the bags are what is often left behind after a traumatic event.

“Deodorant and toothpaste,” UAlbany student Michael Asfour said. “Things of that nature to help rape victims feel human again after something traumatic like that.”

“I feel like, no matter what, one person can make a difference,” UAlbany student Alanna Curet said.

In 2015, Albany Med saw nearly 150 cases of sexual violence – a jump from previous years. But a little goes a long way. In March, a victim took comfort in the packed bag.

“When I went upstairs to see her, she had the teddy bear; she was sleeping with it, and the wall of the hospital room had our note cards,” Albany Med sexual assault nurse coordinator Kaylin Dawson said.

One by one, students passed the bags down the long line of volunteers until it made its way to two ambulances destined for Albany Med.

“People all over the world get affected by this,” Asfour said. “Regardless of age, gender, race, it’s terrible. So we do what we can to help.”

“Even if there is one victim, there’s a problem,” UAlbany student Brandon Phillips said. “It’s there, and we need to fight it.”

Albany Med wants people to know law enforcement doesn’t need to get involved with the cases. Victims can still come to the hospital and receive the treatment they need.

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