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Victims Assistance Services of WestCOP to Host Public Conference on “Consent” in Partnership with NYMC

Does “yes” simply mean “yes” and “no” simply mean “no”?

Date: December 01, 2016
Media Contact:

Jennifer Riekert, M.B.A.
Vice President of Communications
New York Medical College
(914) 594-4552

Consent is a complicated landscape of rights, decisions, legal context and communication

VALHALLA, N.Y., December 1, 2016 – “Consent” has been a frequent topic in criminal justice proceedings, news headlines, audio tapes and contentious debates. In sexual relationships, the topic also remains highly relevant: does “yes” simply mean “yes” and “no” simply mean “no”?

To address the topic meaningfully, Victims Assistance Services of the Westchester Community Opportunity Program, Inc. (WestCOP) has invited some of the most knowledgeable and thoughtful minds from the fields of disabilities, corrections, human trafficking, education, safe dating and women’s rights to speak at the conference, “To Consent or Not To Consent” to be held at the Westchester Institute for Human Development in Valhalla, New York, on Monday, December 5 and Tuesday, December 6, 2016.

The intent of the conference is to engage service providers, law enforcement, the justice system, educational institutions and the public in discussion to prevent sexual assault by raising awareness of the complex issues and the importance of education, empowerment and services for women, men and students.

“Consent is a complicated landscape of rights, decisions, legal context and communication,” says Karel R. Amaranth, M.P.H. ’12, M.A., director of Victims Assistance Services. This conference will provide attendees with an opportunity to understand consent from a variety of perspectives and vantage points.”

The two-day conference is open to the general public as well as service providers, schools and colleges, law enforcement and criminal justice professionals. The agenda will include:

Monday, December 5: Welcome by Robert W. Amler, M.D., M.B.A., Dean, School of Health Sciences and Practice, New York Medical College, followed by a panel discussion including: Therese Shechter, Filmmaker; Joseph Storch, Associate Counsel, State University of New York; Consuelo Senior, Assistant Coordinator of Sex Education, YAI; Allison Kleinman, Director, The Silver Center for Special Needs Adaptations, JCC Manhattan; a Panel of People with Disabilities discusses consent.

Tuesday, December 6: Discussion with Brenda Myers-Powell, Founder of Dreamcatcher Foundation; Jason Effman, Associate Commissioner of New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision; Mike Domitrz, Founder and Executive Director of Date Safe.

The registration fee for the two-day conference is $75 and includes breakfast and lunch. Scholarships and group fees are available.

For more information or to register, contact: Karel R. Amaranth, Victims Assistance Services at 914-345-3113 or kamaranth@westcop.org.

About Victims Assistance Services

Victims Assistance Services, a component of Westchester Community Opportunity Program, Inc., has sites in five communities in Westchester County as well as advocates in the Westchester County Court House and the Department of Social Services, providing comprehensive services to victims of crimes including sexual assault, child abuse, elder abuse, homicide, fraud, DWI and robbery. Free services include assistance with accessing Victims Services’ benefits, advocacy, court preparation and accompaniment, referrals, counseling, trauma informed therapy and services for sexual assault victims through the College Campus Prevention Program, Rape Crisis Helpline and Hospital Advocates Program.

About New York Medical College

Founded in 1860, NYMC is one of the oldest and largest health sciences colleges in the country with more than 1,400 students, 1,300 residents and clinical fellows, nearly 3,000 faculty members, and 16,000 living alumni. The College, which joined the Touro College and University System in 2011, is located in Westchester County, New York, and offers advanced degrees from the School of Medicine, the Graduate School of Basic Medical Sciences, and the School of Health Sciences and Practice. With a network of affiliated hospitals that includes large urban medical centers, small suburban clinics and high-tech regional tertiary care facilities, NYMC provides a wide variety of clinical training opportunities throughout the tri-state region for medical students, residents, and other health providers.