"Make Your Move" Sexual Violence Campaign Expands in Missoula - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

"Make Your Move" Sexual Violence Campaign Expands in Missoula

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MISSOULA -

A Missoula campaign to end sexual violence is gaining national attention, and organizers said they have new plans to expand.

The "Make Your Move Missoula" campaign encourages bystanders to step in when they see a situation that could lead to sexual violence.

It could play a part in situations like the recent dorm room rape on UM's campus.

The Make Your Move project includes some provocative signs you may have seen posted inside bathrooms, or even displayed on screen at the local movie theater.

The signs have gained national attention on Buzzworthy and Upworthy.

Now, organizers have plans to provide sexual assault training for employees at local bars.

Molly Barth, a University of Montana grad student said she and her friends have run into some situations at bars where a guy gets too pushy.

"That's just kind of where you take your friend and walk away," Barth said.

And Amanda Opitz of the YWCA said that's the goal of the Make Your Move campaign, to encourage men and women to step in before someone gets hurt.

"Everyone can participate and can be, you know, a strong ally and bystander," she said.

The campaign signs were strategically placed around Missoula back in 2012, as a way to combat the negativity surrounding sexual assault cases in the community.

"They are placed in good locations, if you go to the bathroom, you're going to see what's right by the toilet," Barth explained.

They include eye-catching statements, like, "He was acting all sweet, offering her a ride, but it just didn't feel right…"

Barth said, "If I witnessed something like that, I would get my friend out of there, probably go to another bar."

Amanda Opitz of the YWCA, the organization leading the campaign, said now, they plan to launch training for employees at local bars.

"So that we can make sure we have folks trained in the community to recognize predatory behavior," Opitz said.

Opitz said the theory is the training would enable an employee to effectively step in before a sexual assault could occur.

"I think a lot of people come from the place of 'it's none of my business."

Barth said she thinks it would be great to have the support of bar employees when she and her friends are downtown.

"It might make for some awkward social interactions, but it's not going to hurt."

The Missoula City-County Crime Victim Advocates Office started the Make Your Move campaign back in 2012.

Now, it's run by the YWCA of Missoula.

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