District attorney promotes sexual assault awareness at Amherst conference
AMHERST — Videos and posters made by area college students designed to raise awareness about sexual assaults on campus will be shown as part of a conference at Hampshire College Friday afternoon.
The Campaign to End Sexual Assault on Campuses conference, sponsored by the Northwestern district attorney’s office, will be held at Franklin Patterson Hall from 2 to 6 p.m.
DA spokeswoman Mary Carey said area experts and officials from the Five Colleges and Greenfield Community College, as well as students, are expected to participate in the event that will help raise awareness and increase reporting of sexual assaults.
The videos, 30-second public service announcements, portray scenarios that lead to sexual assaults, how students can work to prevent them and how bystanders can assist.
Consultants Natalia Munoz, director of Verdant Multicultural Media, and Mary Patierno, director of Reel Communication, assisted in developing the ads. Carey said the conference will spur a larger campaign.
“At the conference, we’ll be getting into groups to come up with a strategy for promoting the campaign nationwide,” Carey said.
There will also be interactive bystander training exercises followed by brainstorming groups.