Monday, July 25, 2016

Preventing Gender Based Violence

In "What Works in Preventing Gender Based Sexual Violence," Elizabeth Dartnall outlines what constitutes gender based violence, what prevention is, and what is currently known about effective prevention efforts:
  • Women's economic empowerment 
  • Skill-building programs
  • Education and Community Action
  • School-based interventions
  • Empowerment and Self-Defense 

Monday, July 18, 2016

Is it bullying or something else?

In "Rude vs. Mean vs. Bullying," Signe Whitson lays out how rudeness, meanness, and bullying differ:
Rude: unintentionally hurting someone else
Mean: intentionally hurting someone else
Bully: intentional, repetitive, and aggressive behavior that reinforces power differences

For more information about these differences and more about bullying, click here


Monday, July 11, 2016

“If you ever met a rapist”

In the Everyday Feminism blog “3 reasons why 'if I ever met a rapist, I’d punch him' isn’t helpful," Ginny Brown writes about while the intention is good, these kinds of statements do more harm than good. She says:
     We have all met a rapist
Saying “if I ever met a rapist,” perpetuates the idea that rapists are somehow identifiable and women should know one when they see one, but in reality rapists are indistinguishable from everyone else.
      Rapists often don't think of their actions as rape
I    If someone forces another person to have sex without their consent, that person is a rapist. It doesn’t matter what the person who rapes calls his own behavior;what matters is the action.
     Threatening to harm rapists doesn’t necessarily help survivors
Better to find out what a survivor needs to heal than assuming punching out a rapist is what she needs.

For the full article, check out Brown’s blog here.

Monday, July 4, 2016

What works to prevent sexual violence?

In "A Critical Review of Sexual Violence Prevention on College Campuses," Newlands and O'Donohue report their extensive review of research on sexual-violence interventions on college campuses. Based on their analysis of what works, they recommend that campuses offer separate gender programs: self-defense and alcohol awareness programs for women and consent programs for men.

Alena Schaim (2016), IMPACT Director of New Mexico, notes that while their recommendations mirror what we already do in IMPACT, she is"disappointed they didn't directly address working with trans/gender non-conforming folks nor did they address head-on the assertions currently being made that it's better to do sex education (including consent) in mixed gender settings, because doing binary splits teaches that we shouldn't talk about sex with the 'opposite' gender."

My take: Newlands and O'Donohue's work supports the self-defense work IMPACT and other Empowerment Self-Defense organizations are doing on college campuses and, in fact, advocates for expanding those offerings. While this is good news, indeed, we also want to continue to expand our understandings of the complexities of gender and integrate these understandings into our programming.

Martha Thompson
IMPACT Chicago Instructor
NWMAF Certified Self-Defense Instructor

Newlands, Rory and William O'Donohue. 2016. "A critical review of sexual violence prevention on college campuses." Acta Psychopathologica 2(2): 40.

Schaim, Alena. 2016. Facebook post, Self-Defense Discussion Group, May 28.