Middlesex County DA Marian Ryan Hosts "2015 Campus Safety Symposium"
April 27th, 2015

Calls For Coordinated Approach To Better Respond To Increased Reporting Of Sexual Assaults On College Campuses

NEWTON – Speaking at the "2015 Campus Safety Symposium" at Newton-Wellesley Hospital today, Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan called for expanded partnerships with college campuses, law enforcement, and community groups to better respond to increased reporting rates of sexual assaults on college campuses.

"The most effective way to give service to victims and have successful prosecutions is to have a coordinated multi-disciplinary approach engaging both on campus and off campus resources,” said District Attorney Ryan.

According to a report issued by the White House Council on Women and Girls, 1 in 5 women have been sexually assaulted while in college, approximately 12% of victims report the assault to law enforcement, and 7% of college men admit to a sexual assault with 63% of those men saying they have committed multiple rapes.

Today’s symposium was hosted by the Office of the Middlesex District Attorney and Newton-Wellesley Hospital. Speakers at the event included Newton-Wellesley Hospital Domestic Violence Coordinator Erin Miller, Boston College Women’s Center Assistant Director Rachel DiBella, Center for Hope and Healing Executive Director Isa Woldeguiorguis, Victim Rights Law Center Senior Counsel Colby Bruno, Nixon Peabody trial and appellate attorney Steven M. Richard, Djuna Perkins, Principal of DP Law, and Boston College Police Department Detective Sergeant David Flaherty.

Today’s audience included individuals from more than two dozen colleges and universities, local police departments, and community-based organizations.

There are 26 colleges and universities in Middlesex County, the most populous county in Massachusetts. The county has approximately 1.6 million residents living in 54 towns and cities.

Also today, Governor Baker signed Executive Order #563, an act “Re-launching The Governor’s Council To Address Sexual Assault And Domestic Violence,” which will work to implement new laws and develop programs to prevent domestic violence and sexual assault. The Council will be charged with implementing a 2014 law focused on the topic and working across government agencies to coordinate services and housing opportunities for victims. In addition, the Council will focus on issues such as the problem of domestic and sexual violence on college campuses, employment leave for victims, and helping to ensure physical and economic security for victims.

April has been designated as “Sexual Assault Awareness Month” to call attention to the issue and encourage prevention and education.