Forum in Great Barrington to address child sexual abuse


GREAT BARRINGTON -- Sexual assault is a topic few people want to talk about. Gabrielle Senza wants to talk about it.

An activist, artist and musician, Senza will hosting a forum, "Straight Talk on Child Sexual Abuse," at 7 p.m. Thursday at the First Congregational Church on Main Street.

A $10-20 donation is suggested, but no one will be turned away, said Senza.

The forum will feature a performance of songs and prose by Senza, and a discussion with Jean-Clark Mitchell, director of clinical services at the Elizabeth Freeman Center. It is one of several local events planned as part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

Senza emphasized that she was moved to host such an event in the wake of a recent sexual assault trial.

"It’s such an uncomfortable subject," she said. "Not a lot of people like talking about it. But obviously, it’s something that needs to be discussed."

Senza said the discussion portion of the forum will center on how to recognize, confront and prevent sexual assaults.

Audience participation will be encouraged, she said. There will be time for questions and answers.

The event is sponsored by Fuel, Kwik Print, the Meat Market and Radio to Women. There will be door prizes, refreshments and snacks provided by Fuel.


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