Politics & Policy

Gendered violence topic of day-long conference Monday, Oct. 9

Conference on Gendered Violence artwork

Local, state, national and international experts on gendered violence will come together for a day-long conference in downtown Iowa City. The Conference on Gendered Violence, hosted by the University of Iowa Public Policy Center (PPC), takes place from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 9 at hotelVetro, 201 S. Dubuque Street.

The conference will examine current problems in domestic and sexual violence policies at the local, state, national and international levels. Some topics include recent changes to domestic violence funding in Iowa, the renewal of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), international challenges in countries such as Russia, and economic and legal challenges for domestic violence and sexual violence survivors.

“Gendered violence affects the whole community,” said Tracy Osborn, conference organizer, director of the Politics and Policy Research Program at the PPC, and associate professor in the Department of Political Science in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS). “Survivors of domestic and/or sexual violence bear the scars of these events for their whole lives, even if in day-to-day interaction these scars are not outwardly visible. In a time of international change and scarce monetary resources in many U.S. states, debates over which policies best serve survivors of domestic and sexual violence become paramount. This conference is a vehicle for practitioners and academics to learn and discuss new problems and solutions in domestic and sexual violence policy.”

Sarah Super will serve as keynote speaker for the event. Super is a rape survivor, educator, and activist. She founded Break the Silence, an organization that supports survivors of sexual violence by striving to end rape culture and hold perpetrators accountable. Through Break the Silence, Super has organized community truth-telling events, public protests and demonstrations, and has gained unanimous approval from the Minneapolis Park Board to build the nation’s first permanent memorial to honor survivors in the Twin Cities.

The conference will also include a gallery featuring artists whose work focuses on gendered violence. Artists Melissa Kreider, Jessica Pleyel and Rachel Williams will display their work for viewing throughout the day. All three have connections to the School of Art and Art History in CLAS – Kreider is an M.F.A. candidate, Pleyel is a recent M.F.A. graduate, and Williams is an associate professor. Williams is also the Departmental Executive Officer of the Department of Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies, also in CLAS.

Registration is required. More information and a link to register is available at http://ppc.uiowa.edu/forkenbrock/gendered-violence.

Co-sponsors for the conference include the Domestic Violence Intervention Program; the University of Iowa Center for Human Rights; UI Department of Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies; UI International Programs; and UI Women’s Resource and Action Center.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all University of Iowa-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation in order to participate in this program, contact Leslie Gannon at 319-335-6817 or leslie-gannon@uiowa.edu.