ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Hundreds of people came together Monday night to create sexual assault survival kits for victims.
One out of every four women and one out of every 16 men will be sexually assaulted during their college years. People came together at SEFCU Arena for the We Care Project to create kits for survivors at Albany Medical Center.
Included in the kits were clothing items, personal care items, and a small note of support.
“We’re going to let these survivors know that we care,” Chantelle Cleary, Assistant VP of Equity and Compliance at UAlbany, said. “And that they don’t have to go through this alone.”
Cleary said it is a long process when sexual assault victims go for treatment.
“Oftentimes, the exam takes several hours, and they leave the hospital with nothing,” she said. “Not their clothes; not their belongings.”
“We do take their clothing; we do take their personal belongings from them,” Albany Med Sexual Assault Nurse Coordinator Kaylin Dawson said. “Anything that has some sort of forensic evidence component to it.”
Dylan Pamerantz is a survivor of sexual abuse.
“Something my abuser told me while it was going on is, ‘I don’t want this to be something you have to talk to a therapist about when you’re 30,’” he recalled.
Pamerantz was abused throughout his childhood and said that phrase is exactly what pushed him to speak out.
“The more people I told, the better I felt, the stronger I felt, and then I realized that other people can benefit from the same thing,” he said.
He said events like the We Care Project help remove the stigma around sexual assault. He helped pack some of the bags alongside UAlbany students and others in the community.
He said something as simple as a teddy bear can make all the difference.
“To know that there are people out here who recognize it happens,” he said. “And to be there for them even though they don’t know them I think means the world.”
The bags that were packed Monday night were immediately taken to Albany Med to help someone start their healing process.