Gender & Violence

Instructor Name: 
DeEtte Beghtol Waleed
Course Description: 

In the past few years we have been inundated with information about sexual assault and the efforts of women, girls, and gender nonconforming people to resist it. More people are aware of the size and seriousness of this problem. In addition to violence in our homes we are increasingly aware of transgender violence, Military Sexual Trauma and violence against women in prisons. Intimate partner violence and sexual assault become even more difficult when the victim is in a foreign country or in military service. Students will research and interview people locally and in other countries who are working to end gender violence and the systems that support it. 

This course offers opportunities to build interviewing skills, to plan and present project proposals and to expand students’ résumés. It widens our perspectives and deepens analytical skills 

Unique Qualities of this Capstone Course

Teams of students will interview leaders of projects working with male and female survivors of sexual abuse and domestic violence. Students will research the political and cultural background of domestic violence and sexual assault, returning veterans or transgender women, and will prepare and present interviews with leaders in these areas. 

Community Partner

Boy Strength is a program of the Portland Police Bureau for boys in middle- and high-school. Is is designed to increase boys’ awareness of other ways to be strong other than violence and empowers boys to be leaders in nonviolence. Our focus for the term is on how we can help them improve their program by adding awareness of gay and trans issues for boys.

Final Product

Students will plan and design additions to the Boy Strength curriculum that includes awareness of trans and gay issues for boys. We will create a presentation to market this curriculum to decision makers.

Students will also interview people who are survivors of gender violence and who are leading projects to reduce violence and help other heal. Teams of students will research the background of the interviewee, the type of violence and the program to achieve change and will then interview the person in class.

       ♦ Buchwald, Emilie, Fletcher, Pamela and Roth, Martha, Transforming a Rape Culture, Milkweed Editions, 2005
       ♦ Lucas, Paula, Harvesting Stones, An American women’s international journey of survival, Summertime        Publishing, 2013
       ♦ Waldman, Ayelet,  Inside This Place, Not of It: Narratives from Women's Prisons (Voice of Witness), McSweeney's Books, 2011
       ♦ Bancroft, Lundy, Why Does He Do That?, Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men, Chapter 13, “The Making of an Abusive Man,” Berkeley Books, 2002

Main learning outcomes:
    By the end of this course, students will be able to:
       ◊ recognize causes of domestic violence and sexual assault (critical thinking)
       ◊ understand sexual assault and gender violence from the victim’s point of view (critical thinking, diversity)
       ◊ conduct research interviews and analyze data (communication)
       ◊ present research in an attractive and coherent manner (communication)
       ◊ distinguish among the underlying and deeply-rooted social issues that lead to gender violence (critical thinking, ethical and social responsibility)
       ◊ evaluate the effectiveness of violence reduction strategies in different cultures (diversity, critical thinking)
       ◊ increase awareness of resources available to victims of sexual assault (ethical and social responsibility)