POWER-CONSCUIOUS APPROACHES TO ADDRESSING SEXUAL VIOLENCE ON CAMPUSES
Sexual violence on college campuses has received increased attention over the past few years. Unfortunately, the majority of scholarship and media attention to campus sexual violence focuses on response and policy, rather than prevention. Further, most scholarship does not examine the lived experiences of survivors of sexual violence. Most scholarship and media attention centers cisgender, heterosexual White women at elite institutions. An ahistorical perspective about sexual violence results in ineffective scholarship, policy, and prevention efforts related to sexual violence.
I recently authored the book, Sexual Violence on Campus: Power-Conscious Approaches to Awareness, Response, and Prevention, where I present tenets of a power-conscious framework and advocate that educators, administrators, and activists consider the role of power in ending sexual violence. Further, I argue that we should intentionally examine how awareness, response, and prevention are three different, yet interrelated, components of effectively addressing sexual violence.
Additionally, Dr. Jessica C. Harris and I recently co-edited a book to complicate the narrative about sexual violence on college campus by re-centering historically marginalized groups and providing an historical foundation from which educators, scholars, and policy-makers might make more-informed decisions. The book, Intersections of Identity and Sexual Violence on Campus: Centering Minoritized Students' Experiences (Stylus), includes 12 chapters by a variety of scholars who take a critical perspective on addressing sexual violence among various student groups, including transgender and queer students, women of color, and students with disabilities.
Finally, in collaboration with a research team of five gradaute students, I recently led a study examining 10 years of scholarship about campus sexual violence. Through this research we seek to illuminate the trends and patterns present in the literature and identify areas for future research. Initial findings indicate that most research focuses on what puts a victim at risk for sexual violence and over-emphasizes the role of alcohol in campus sexual violence. Most research fails to consider demographics of the study participants, leading to research that centers cisgender, white, heterosexual, non-disabled women.