Front Range Community College professor, Dr. Cecilia Gowdy-Wygant, facilitated a gender dialogue luncheon on March 9 to discuss gender based violence. This event occurred second in a series of presentations about gender dialogue through a co-curricular learning experience grant, funded by Student Life and presented by FRCC’s Women’s Studies program.
Susie Roman, director of prevention and education at The Blue Bench, a violence advocacy and outreach program, served as the event’s guest speaker. Alongside Roman, Gowdy-Wygant also spoke and showed a TED Talk about gender based violence from anti-sexist activist Jackson Katz.
“The co-curricular learning grant is a great opportunity for staff members to share ideas that they are passionate about with the broader community,” Gowdy-Wygant said. As head of FRCC’s Women’s Studies department, she exhibits passion for gender equality, and for just reasons.
According to the World Health Organization, one in three women have experienced violence globally. That percentage only decreases to one in five women in the United States.
Gowdy-Wygant emphasized that the purpose of the event was to educate attendees on not only violence against women, but also on violence against men, a less acknowledged and accepted topic. The World Health organization reported that one in 71 men globally have testified to being raped.
While the Organization also cited that one in five women have reported being raped, Gowdy-Wygant attested that the negative stigma surrounding men as rape victims could contribute to the percentage gap between genders. “We have to look at statistics a little cautiously,” she said. “Those are the numbers of people that have stood up and said, ‘This happened to me.’ Not everybody does that.”
Furthermore, data from the National Coalition of Domestic Violence show that a woman is assaulted every nine seconds in the U.S. Plus, one of every three women and one of every four men have been victims of domestic violence.
“I think that it is super important that we recognize that gender based violence does exist,” Gowdy-Wygant said. The luncheon served to highlight the shocking facts and statistics about gender based violence to which society often turns a blind eye.
Those who attended the gender dialogue luncheon hopefully absorbed the message that Gowdy-Wygant and the guest speakers strove to articulate. For FRCC community members unable to attend, she declared: “Stand up and speak out against gender based violence.”
Written by Kayla Klein
Photo One from TED
Photo Two from New Delhi Television Online