Monday, April 25, 2016

Let’s Work on Preventing Sexual Violence Not Just Reporting It

In “Sexual Violence: Responding to Reports is Not Enough,” Joseph Storch argues that a focus on 

improving reporting processes for sexual violence on college campuses is threatening to overshadow 

the greater priority to prevent it. 

Storch, Joseph. 2016. Sexual Violence: Responding to Reports is Not Enough. Inside Higher Ed, March 14.

Monday, April 18, 2016

How Can Empowerment Self-Defense Address Coercive Sexual Environments?

The patterns of sexual and racial discrimination embedded in US culture result in a coercive sexual environment (CSE) in high-poverty, chronically violent areas, with a lack of strong community connections. A CSE means that women and girls routinely experience harassment, domestic violence, and sexual exploitation (Zweig et al 2015). Advocates recommend using “place-conscious strategies” to effectively address coercive sexual environments.

Place-conscious strategies (Turner et al 2014):
Connect to city, state, and federal initiatives
Integrate efforts across policy domains in a neighborhood
Integrate the work of multiple organizations
Identify shared goals and assess whether or not the goals are being met
Recognize and plan for residential mobility

What does this mean for Empowerment Self-Defense (ESD)?
Empowerment self-defense programs offer important tools for women and girls to understand, prevent, interrupt, and stop sexual violence. Place-conscious strategies in terms of ESD means: 
Find out and connect to existing initiatives to address violence
Work with existing organizations in a neighborhood
Work to have ESD become part of violence prevention efforts
Develop programs which allow people to come when they can

Turner, Margery Austin, Peter Edelman, Erika Poethig, and Laudan Aron with Matthew Rogers and Christopher Lowenstein.  2014. “Tackling Persistent Poverty in Distress Urban Neighborhoods.  Urban Institute.

Zweig, Janine M., Susan J. Popkin, and Mary Bogle. 2015. “Let girls be girls: Growing up too soon in neighborhoods of concentrated poverty.” Urban Wire.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Incorporating Embodied Empowerment Skills in Social Work Practice

In “Empowerment, Social Justice, and Feminist Self-Defense: The Benefits of Incorporating Embodied Empowerment Skills in Social Work Practice,” empowerment self-defense instructors Amy Jones, Thousand Waves Martial Arts and Self-Defense Center, and Katy Mattingly, University of Michigan, encourage social workers to explore empowerment self-defense (ESD) and consider adding it to the other interventions they already use. They make the case that ESD is an effective intervention to prevent violence, increase self-efficacy and confidence, and reduce depression , anxiety, and traumatic stress symptoms.

Jones, Amy L.E. and Katy Mattingly. 2016. Empowerment, Social Justice, and Feminist Self-Defense: The Benefits of Incorporating Embodied Empowerment Skills in Social Work Practice,” Journal of Women and Social Work: 1-9.

Monday, April 4, 2016

I Do Not Have to Be Superwoman

 “We all fall down, sometimes in midflight. Surviving, healing and thriving again did not leave me with a sense of invincibility this time. Instead I found a new level of humility and a stronger desire to continue to remind women that it’s okay to take the cape off, sit down and rest awhile.” Jennifer Hill

For more, read IMPACT Chicago grad Jennifer Hill's blog: “Deconstructing My Superwoman Complex.”