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Anti-Sexual Violence Statement–Violence Against Women and Children Special Interest Group of the Society for Social Work and Research

Please see below for the Anti-Sexual Violence Statement, written by the co-chairs of the Violence Against Women and Children Special Interest Group of the Society for Social Work and Research (Shanti Kulkarni, Associate Professor at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, and Angie Kennedy, RCGV member and MSU faculty).

Violence Against Women and Children (VAWC) Special Interest Group Anti-Sexual Violence Statement

As social work professionals who research violence against women and children, we express our strong solidarity with survivors of all forms of sexual violence, including molestation, harassment, sexual assault, and rape, and support efforts to hold those who perpetrate sexual violence accountable for their actions.
We join efforts with those working to eliminate cultural norms that permit and encourage an environment where sexual violence is rampant and unchecked. This includes strengthening norms that encourage individuals to regard sexual violence as a community issue that we all have responsibility to address, as well as encouraging individuals, families, and communities to aspire towards healthy, respectful relationships. Further, we seek to build social work organizations with the necessary policies and practices to ensure workplaces free from retaliation, bullying, retribution, and other misuses of power and control.
We commit to conduct research that affirms survivors’ experiences and acknowledges the role of social stigma, societal structures, and systemic oppression. We view sexual violence from an intersectional perspective and understand that members of marginalized groups have higher rates and bear disproportionate burden of sexual violence, including (but not limited to) those living in poverty, individuals with disabilities, immigrants, and racial, ethnic, sexual, and gender minorities. We value research that provides evidence to effectively estimate, prevent, recognize, and respond to sexual violence. We also advocate for research to help determine best strategies for working with individuals who perpetrate sexual violence.
In addition, we commit to doing all we can to assure our students and colleagues have educational and professional experiences that are safe, affirming, and free from sexual violence.