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High School Boys Create New PSA for Victims of Sexual Assault

Posted: Updated: Mar 25, 2016 01:41 PM
Zach Beck Zach Beck
Sheri Owen of SARA Sheri Owen of SARA
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

A new public service announcement aims to encourage survivors of sexual assault to seek help.

The video went live on Thursday afternoon, but it's the team that produced it that might surprise you. A handful of high school boys are behind the 30 second video that benefits the Sexual Assault Resource Agency (SARA).

“Well I was excited first to see that they were all men, young men, that was very overwhelming and powerful for me,” said Sheri Owen of SARA.

It started with a commercial production course at Light House Studio in downtown Charlottesville. Here the young filmmakers brainstormed scenes on paper, started producing, and then assembled the video through digital editing.

The video portrays a variety of sexual assault survivors finding the courage to call SARA for free help and counseling and then the relief they feel knowing they sought help.

“I think sexual assault is an important issue. It's been in the news a lot. Obviously there's a lot of people who are victims of sexual assault, and they don't get their story told so I think it's important that we help them out,” said Zach Beck, a student who helped produce the video.

The message for sexual assault victims shows that counselors with SARA are available around the clock to help them.

“I've been on a hotline call where the person on the other end has said 'I stared at that phone for 15 minutes before I picked it up and called. Or I thought about it for days,' so I know this is realistic,” said Owen.

Over six weeks, six high school students picked, brainstormed, produced, and assembled the public service announcement.

“I think sexual assault is an important issue. It's been in the news a lot. Obviously there's a lot of people who are victims of sexual assault and they don't get their story told so I think it's important that we help them out,” said Beck.

All students had something in common: Zoe Cohen, a teacher at Light House Studio, led their commercial course.

Cohen says she is excited that soon it will be widely shared. “Various social media outlets, our websites and I believe it was also air on various networks around Charlottesville,” she said. 

The video will be shown on April 5 at the National Day of Caring, a large SARA event, which will discuss ways to support survivors.

“It's just great to know that this will help people,” Beck added.

To watch the video click here.