Students to lead webinar on gender-based sexual violence
March 4, 2022
King’s students will be both learning from and inspiring their peers during an upcoming webinar event: Student Grassroots Movements Fighting Gender-based Sexual Violence (GBSV) on Our Campus. The student-driven webinar will take place on March 8, 2022, at 6:30 p.m. EST.
Laura Crowe, 3rd year Honours Specialization in Political Science and a major in Social Justice and Peace Studies, says the event is “essential as students are at the forefront of gender-based violence on and off-campus. Students know what is needed as they have had direct experience of violence on campus, and this event will showcase how students are working towards combating that violence.”
Presenters will be student groups combating gender-based sexual violence in a variety of ways on our campus, including:
- The Not Asking For It (NAFI) Research Project, the SOC4485 research team led by Hannah Walsh
- Red Zone Research Group
- Sexual Assault and Trauma Survivors club at Western (SATS)
“It is inspiring and encouraging to see courageous women create these clubs out of sheer necessity,” says Crowe. She adds the clubs are doing tremendous work and are impacting students.
The King’s Sociology and Criminology Association, led by president Daniel French, will be assisting in moderating the event. In addition to the SJPS Club, and Social Justice and Peace Studies and Gender, Sexuality & Women’s Studies faculty, Sara Ahmed, in her third year of a 4-year BA Sociology Major and a member of Red Zone, provided support with graphics for promotion and getting the program settled.
Students representing the diversity of the campus – the LGBTQ2+ Advisory Group, the Indigenous Students Association and the BIPOC Support Group, along with international students and students from various religions and ethnicities – have been invited to engage in the Q&A dialogue period, to ask questions and offer comments and concerns.
“The student groups we have presenting at this event are doing incredible, brilliant things that deserve attention – these are our students, and we should be incredibly proud of them. We want students to see what their peers are doing to make things safer on our campus, and then help spread some hope as well as maybe a bit of inspiration too - students can find out how to be part of these initiatives,” says Dr. Kimberly Baltzer-Jaray, Sessional Instructor for the departments of Philosophy and Social Justice & Peace Studies [Gender, Sexuality & Women’s Studies].
Student Grassroots Movements Fighting GBSV on Our Campus will include presentations of student art that speaks to gender-based sexual violence, including visual art, and spoken word/poetry presented by students, either the artists themselves or volunteers.
The date of Student Grassroots Movements Fighting GBSV on Our Campus is fitting, as it will take place on International Women’s Day.
“Having this event on International Women’s Day is powerful – while it is true that women are not the only victims of GBSV, we know statistically that women (cisgender, trans, and BIPOC) experience this at alarmingly high rates. This day is one where we celebrate women in all their glorious positions, identities, abilities, and achievements, but we should also be highlighting the long road still to go with sexism, forms of violence, rape culture, and other forms of oppression, and the fact that together we CAN work to solve these problems,” says Dr. Baltzer-Jaray.
“This is an opportunity for students to feel supported, empowered, and feel a sense of community. As survivors, we need to stand together and uplift each other's voices. I hope students leave this event feeling hopeful and have the opportunity to observe what other students are doing to combat violence on campus,” says Crowe.