16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence

By Skye VanLanduyt

16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence is a yearly campaign running from November 25- December 10. The campaign was founded in 1991 at the Women’s Global Leadership Institute, with the purpose to call for prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls. The United Nations (UN) Women started a UNITE by 2030 Campaign under secretary, Ban Ki-Moon. The UNITE campaign specifically “calls on governments, civil society, women’s organizations, young people, the private sector, the media, and the entire UN system to join forces in addressing the global pandemic of violence against women and girls.” According to the Center for Women’s Global Leadership, the campaign is “the most widely recognized and longest-running campaign for women’s rights in the world.”

This year’s theme is “Orange the World: Generation Equality Stands Against Rape.” The 5 focus areas of UNITE include…
• Honor and acknowledge Women’s Movements
• ‘Leave No One Behind.’ Take a “human-rights based approach and focus on underserved and disadvantaged groups of women and girls.”
• Survivor-Centered: “Take a respectful and ‘do no harm’ approach to the telling and retelling of survivor stories.”
• Multi-Sectoral: “everyone in society has an important role to play.”
• The Color Orange: Show your support by wearing orange!

Make sure you like and follow the UMKC Women’s Center and The UMKC Violence Prevention and Response. We will be posting information about each day and ways about how you can take action against gender violence during the campaign! You can also check out the UN Women’s Facebook page to learn more about the cause, read articles about international women’s rights, and advocacy.

The Clothesline Project

By Maggie Pool

According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, 1 out of 7 men or 1 out of 4 women have experienced “severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime” (National Domestic Violence Hotline). Because these types of heartbreaking events are unfortunately common among couples, the Women’s Center and Violence Prevention and Response office has made “The Clothesline Project” a time to share feelings or thoughts on how violence against men and women has affected loved ones or the world around them.

Starting Monday, November 4th, the UMKC Women’s Center will be co-sponsoring with the office of Violence Prevention and Response on a project called “The Clothesline Project”, a visual display that bears witness to domestic and sexual violence. UMKC students can stop by information tables, located at the Rockhill Parking Garage Walkway, 52nd & Rockhill Road, to add to the line by decorating a shirt.

If you missed Tuesday’s informational table, no worries! Violence Prevention and Response will be tabling again on Thursday, November 14th at 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Royall Hall Lobby. Both offices have committed themselves to creating safe spaces for everyone to feel comfortable sharing thoughts or experiences on subjects close to their hearts. Come by one of the tables and start a discussion, make a shirt to add to the line, or learn more about the Women’s Center and Violence Prevention and Response office!

Co-Sponsored by: UMKC Women’s Center

 

Reflecting on “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes”

By Ann Varner

Students marched with their heels and signs in the annual event, which was held last week at UMKC.

On Thursday, September 27, the Women’s Center and Violence Prevention and Response put on our annual “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” event. Every year, male members of the UMKC community come to support the event by putting on heels and quite literally walking a mile in them. During the walk, most participants carry signs in support of consent and anti-violence towards women. This year, we also had the participants create a “red shoe pledge” where they pledged to do things, such as “always be an advocate” and “always believe her.”

Chancellor Agrawal wears his heels to celebrate the event and promote safety for women on campus.

We had a great turn out this year. A special thanks goes to our Chancellor Agrawal for his speech and putting on his own pair of high heels. Thank you to the participants who learned what it’s like to wear heels – it’s not fun. Some men even apologized and said, “I am so sorry that women have ever had to wear these things.” Thank you to our sponsors who sponsored a table, and to the UMKC community for showing up to encourage our walkers.

In our current society, walks like these are needed. I believe it helps to not only promote anti-violence towards women, but to also encourage the walkers to reflect upon themselves and what they can do to help create change. After all, change can only begin when voices speak up and are heard.

To read more about Walk a Mile in Her Shoes® and its mission to prevent sexual assault and gender-based violence on college campuses, go to https://www.walkamileinhershoes.org/.

Upcoming Event: Denim Day

By Ann Varner

Since 1999 women around the United States have been participating in Denim Day, however, it did not begin in the United States. Denim Day is a day in April when women and men around the world wear denim as a form of protest to raise awareness of sexual violence.

Why denim?

In 1998 a rape conviction was overturned by the Italian Supreme Court because the court decided that “since the woman’s jeans were on so tight, she had to have helped the man take them off” ergo, it was consensual. When news of this spread women in Italy began to wear denim to work as a form of protest. This year, Denim Day is on April 25 and will be held on the quad. I encourage you to join us for a presentation, a visual display, and free food! Remember to wear your denim as a sign of solidarity that we do not accept victim blaming nor are the clothes we wear any sort of invitation for violence.

Follow this link to learn more about Denim Day.

Upcoming Event: Denim Drive

By Megan Schwindler

The UMKC Women’s Center is asking for donations of gently used denim to be used as the canvas for artwork for others to witness during UMKC Denim Day in April. We’re collecting denim from April 9-20. Drop off locations include the UMKC Women’s Center, Miller Nichols Library, Oak Street Residence Hall Lobby, and the Office of Student Involvement.

What is Denim Day USA?

It is a rape prevention education campaign where community members, elected officials, businesses, and students are asked to make a social statement with their wardrobe by wearing jeans as a visible protest against the misconceptions that surround sexual assault.

Denim Day stems from the 1998 Italian Supreme Court decision that overturned a rape conviction because they believed that because the victim wore tight jeans she must have helped her rapist remove her jeans, thereby implying consent. Enraged by the verdict, the women in the Italian Parliament protested by wearing jeans to work. This action motivated the California Senate and Assembly to do the same. It then spread nationally, and wearing jeans on Denim Day became an international symbol of protest against the destructive attitudes and myths surrounding sexual assault.

For more information on the case you can visit The New York Times’ coverage or visit the Peace Over Violence website.

For more information concerning the denim drive and event, contact: hehkw4@mail.umkc.edu or 816-235-1638.

Upcoming Event: Feminist Open Mic

By Megan Schwindler

The Event

Join us for an afternoon of spoken word and activism about ending gender-based violence and creating a safer campus community for everyone. Even if you don’t have an original song or poem to perform, consider reading a piece from an artist who inspires you. We will also provide free cookies!

The event will be held this Friday, March 2 from 12-1:30 pm at Jazzman’s Café at the Student Union, 5100 Cherry St. The event is sponsored by the UMKC Women’s Center and is co-sponsored by the Violence Prevention and Response Program.

What is One Billion Rising?

According to their website, One Billion Rising is “the biggest mass action to end violence against women in human history.” The campaign was launched in 2012 on Valentine’s Day and “began as a call to action based on the staggering statistic that 1 in 3 women on the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime.” Their 2018 campaign focuses on the theme of solidarity in light of the “fierce escalation of fascist, imperialist, neo-liberal attacks on the lives of people around the world.” They also advocate for Artistic Uprisings from February 14 to March 8. These Artistic Uprisings,  “use art forms from storytelling to theatre, poetry and music, and dance and film as radical calls to action [that] will bring together women from the marginalized and most oppressed sectors of each community to tell their stories through monologues, spoken word, song, music, and dancing.” Our event, One Billion Rising: Feminist Open Mic, will give a voice to those who need it and educate those on campus about ways they can help create a safe campus community for everyone.

Questions? Email us at umkc-womens-center@umkc.edu or give us a call at 816-235-1638.

We hope to see you there!

One Billion Rising shows us that women play a crucial role in this resistance, creating solidarity movements, as they lead from the forefront of local, national and international struggles. It shows us that women are continuing to organize everywhere, harnessing collective energy, building hope and solidarity, and using creativity and vision as they raise political consciousness in their unwavering and fierce determination towards a future of freedom, equality, respect and dignity. -OBR

Upcoming Event: Feminist Film Friday

By Megan Schwindler

Coming up on Friday, February 9 from 12-2 pm, the UMKC Women’s Center is sponsoring Feminist Film Friday: Until the Violence Stops. This event is co-sponsored by the Violence Prevention and Response Program. The event will be held at the UMKC Women’s Center, in 105 Haag Hall. RSVP’s are necessary for this event.

End your week enjoying a movie and some free pizza with the staff at the Women’s Center. This week’s movie is a documentary about the start and success of The Vagina Monologues and the V-Day Movement. RSVP to umkc-womens-center@umkc.edu or 816-235-1638 by February 7.

We hope to see you there!

Walk a Mile in Her Shoes 2015

By MatiaraIMG_0517

This Thursday September 17, 2015 is Walk a Mile in Her Shoes! If you don’t know, this event is “the International Men’s March to Stop Rape, Sexual Assault & Gender Violence.” Every year a large number of people are sexually assaulted. Events like Walk a Mile in Her Shoes are necessary to bring awareness to the severity of gender violence and encourage efforts to end it. At this event men will be walking a mile (we measured the distance!) in women’s shoes. You can watch and support our walkers for $15 at the event, and for $25 at the event men can join the walk. Everyone that attends will receive a meal from Chris Cakes. Please come out and support this Thursday at 5:30pm at the University Playhouse. Hope to see you there!

Walk Mile in Her Shoes Information Tables Coming Soon!

By Kacie Otto

This month, the Violence Prevention and Response Program has been busy gearing up for our awesome annual event, Walk a Mile in Her Shoes: The International Men’s March to Stop Rape, Sexual Assault and Gender Violence.

WAMWalk a Mile in Her Shoes® asks men to walk a mile in women’s high-heeled shoes. Walking in women’s shoes helps men better understand and appreciate women’s experiences, thus changing perspectives, helping improve gender relationships and decreasing the potential for violence.

You can find out more information and register online as a spectator or walker here: http://info.umkc.edu/womenc/programs/walk-a-mile-in-her-shoes/

To get the news out about the march, we’ll be hosting two information tables. Students can register for the walk at the tables. They’ll just need a credit card!

Tuesday, September 1; Monday, September 14

Walk a Mile in Her Shoes Information Tables

Time: 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Location: Hospital Hill Health Sciences Building (Sept. 1), 2464 Charlotte Street; Miller Nichols Learning Center Lobby (Sept. 14), 800 E. 51st Street

 

We hope to see you there! There will also be interactive art projects at each table if you feel like a study break is in order.

Busy Week at the Women’s Center!

080-cropBy Kacie Otto

It’s been an eventful week at the UMKC Women’s Center! This week, we wrapped Sexual Assault Awareness Month with Denim Day visual displays on the Quad and at the Hospital Hill Residence Hall. We also had a tabling even in the quad where students could decorate denim squares to illustrate their commitment to taking a stand against sexual violence.

We recognize Denim Day because an 18 year old woman was raped by her driving instructor in Italy. He was found to be innocent because the victim’s jeans were too tight for him to have taken them off without assistance. At the Women’s Center, we say this is wrong and that all victims of sexual assault should be listened to and believed. We stand in solidarity with this victim and others by wearing denim to work on April 29.

Her-Art-Block-party-flier

 

Coming up tonight, the Her Art project will be at the Crossroads for First Friday. Stop by to create your own ‘Stepping Stone’ Art piece and learn more about empowering women in the Kansas City Art community.

Thank you for all of your support! We’re looking forward to seeing you tonight!