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August 10, 2017- How Language Shapes Our Responses to Sexual Violence

When discussing sexual violence, we often use the language of consensual sex to describe assaultive acts or use euphemisms, erotic, or affectionate terms to portray violent acts. This language implies consent and romance, rather than criminal acts. In addition, we tend to describe violence against women in passive terms, which allows the perpetrators of this violence to remain invisible and unaccountable. We also use language that objectifies or blames sexual assault victims. This interactive session will explore the language of sexual assault: how we talk about and write about this crime. We will discuss specific examples of the language we use and explore how to discuss sexual assault in a way that more accurately depicts the crime. This session is applicable to all members of the response team who work with survivors of sexual and domestic violence.

 Presented by: Claudia Bayliff