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Pair of April events to explore issues surrounding Violence Against Women Act

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Photo of Aishah Shahidah Simmons

Claremont Graduate University CGU) will host a pair of events in April to explore issues surrounding the Violence Against Women Act, a recently-enacted federal law that strengthens the criminal justice system's response to crimes against women, including domestic violence, sexual assault, and trafficking.

The first will be on April 17, when producer, writer, and director Aishah Shahidah Simmons visits campus to show her film NO! The Rape Documentary. Simmons, an incest and rape survivor who teaches a course on gay and lesbian lives at Temple University, uses her film to share the stories of Black women rape survivors who defy victimization.

The film features the voices of violence prevention advocates, theologians, sociologists, historians, anthropologists, and other leading scholars and human rights activists who provide an interdisciplinary context with which to examine sexual violence in African-American communities. They also explore how rape is used as a weapon of homophobia.

Simmons will show and discuss the film at 7:30 pm in Albrecht Auditorium, 925 N. Dartmouth Ave.


On April 25, Professor Elizabeth Hillman from The University of California Hastings College of the Law will visit to discuss violence against women and gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning (GLBTQ) people in the military.

Hillman is president of the National Institute for Military Justice, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting fairness in and public understanding of military justice worldwide, and is co-legal director of the Palm Center, a public policy research institute that played a key role in ending the “don’t ask/don’t tell” policy of discriminating against gay men and lesbians in the U.S. armed forces.

She has published two books, Military Justice Cases and Materials and Defending America: Military Culture and the Cold War Court-Martial, and many articles, the most recent a chapter entitled “Sexual Violence in State Militaries” in Prosecuting International Sex Crimes (Forum for International Criminal and Humanitarian Law, 2012).

Hillman's talk begins at 7 pm, also in Albrecht Auditorium.

Both events are sponsored by CGU's Applied Women's Studies Program and the Women's and Gender Studies Certificate Program. The Intercollegiate Women's Studies Programs at Scripps College is a co-sponsor of the Elizabeth Hillman talk. Related events are being planned for the fall.


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