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Panel to discuss gender violence

Mandi Stirone | Thursday, October 2, 2008

Domestic violence is something that may affect anyone, regardless of race, ethnicity or social background, Saint Mary’s Spanish professor Luzmila Camacho-Platero said.

Saint Mary’s two-day Symposium on Gender Violence began Wednesday with a movie screening and continues tonight with a panel discussion on gender violence.

“I think it’s important to talk about women’s issues and women’s politics,” Camacho-Platero said.

The Vander Vennet Theater was mostly full for the showing of “Take My Eyes,” which tells the story of a woman in an abusive marriage.

“We thought that students need to be very aware of these issues,” Camacho-Platero said. “This is not something that happens only to strangers.”

Saint Mary’s senior Becca Mason, who attended the screening, said she thought the film did a good job of making domestic violence not such a “back and white” occurrence. It “portrayed both people [the abused wife and the abusing husband] as real people,” she said.

A Gender Violence panel will take place tonight from 5 to 7 p.m. at Vander Vennet Theater. The panel will include Edith Miguda, Yana Hashamova, Bettina Spencer and Linda S. Baechle.

The program was organized to be “as interdisciplinary as possible,” Camacho-Platero said.

Miguda and Spencer are professors at Saint Mary’s. Miguda, an assistant professor of history, will give a talk entitled “Women and Vilene in Electoral Politics in Africa.” Spencer, an assistant professor of psychology, will discuss domestic abuse in her talk entitled “Rethinking Gendered Violence: Domestic Abuse and Family Systems.”

Hashamova is an associate professor of Slavic and East European Language and Literature at Ohio State University. She will discuss events in Eastern Europe in her talk, “Trafficking in Women: Reality and Repression.”

Baechle is the Executive Director of the YWCA of St. Joseph County, she will also cover domestic violence in her talk “Justice for Domestic Violence Victims in United States.”

The two-day symposium is sponsored by the Board of Governance (BOG), the Student Diversity Board, the Center for Women’s Intercultural Leadership, Multicultural Services and Student Programs, the Modern Languages Department, Women’s Studies, Justice Education, Intercultural Studies, the Office of Civic and Social Engagement, the Spanish Club and the Women’s Resource Center.