New York’s Campus Sexual Assault Hotline:
- In keeping with Governor Cuomo’s initiative to stop sexual assaults on college campuses, the New York State Police have created a 24 hour hotline to take reports of sexual assaults on college campuses. The hotline covers SUNY’s 64 campuses across New York State and the investigations will be handled by the State Police. In May 2015, the SUNY Implementation Task Force will have completed its new on-campus police training effort aimed at educating students, staff and faculty in sexual assault prevention and awareness.
- The hotline is one aspect of Governor Cuomo’s “Enough is Enough” campaign. The other initiatives under this campaign include: adopting an affirmative standard of consent, amnesty for victims of sexual assault from being punished for alcohol or drug abuse, and the Sexual Assault Victims’ Bill of Rights, which included a list of resources to help victims. Currently this only applies to SUNY schools; however, Governor Cuomo has discussed introducing legislation to make this all apply to private institutions as well.
The number is (844) 845-7269.
Suicide Prevention for Veterans Law:
- Last month, President Obama signed the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act into law. Clay Hunt, the law’s namesake, was a Marine Corps veteran who killed himself in 2011 after suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Hunt served in Iraq and Afghanistan and volunteered in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake. While he tried to work through his struggles, he did not have access to adequate resources; the waiting list to see a psychiatrist was months long.
- This law will make it easier for veterans to have access to mental health resources, and provides accountability for the government programs that serve them. The Department of Veterans Affairs will be subject to independent review of programs directed at suicide prevention. Support groups and community outreach programs will be implemented. To encourage mental health professionals to take part in caring for the mental health of veterans, a pilot loan debt repayment program has been formed for those who work in the Veterans Affairs system. Finally, a website will be set up detailing various resources available to veterans. Veterans will now have an extra year to have access to health care without having to prove a service-related disability first.