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ODU to Host Virtual Discussion About Reimagining Response to Sexual Violence on College Campuses

The Departments of Communication and Theatre Arts and Sociology and Criminal Justice in Old Dominion University's College of Arts and Letters are sponsoring a Title IX discussion on March 24 as part of Women's History Month.

"Violence Communicates: Rethinking Responses to Sexual Violence" will be presented by Kate Lockwood Harris, associate professor of communication studies at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. She is the author of "Beyond the Rapist: Title IX and Sexual Violence on U.S. Campuses" (Oxford University Press) and a consultant to organizations working to develop violence prevention programs.

The virtual presentation will begin at 5:45 p.m. You can register at this link.

Harris notes that Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, including sexual assault. This type of violence, and its accompanying barriers to education, particularly impacts women and/or members of the LGBTQ community, she said, adding that most U.S. colleges require faculty, staff and some students who hear about sexual violence to report it to campus Title IX officials.

"Although these reporting processes are useful and important, they also reinforce systems of whiteness and heteronormativity that already pervade higher education," she said. "I shift the focus from reports about violence to the ways in which violence provides evidence of itself, even amidst silences. By turning attention to how violence communicates, I trace complex physical and symbolic processes of violence that exceed physical assault. In so doing, I point toward expanded possibilities for prevention, intervention and response."

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