INK Magazine, Amendment literary journal host sexual violence awareness panel

inkStudent-run publications INK Magazine and Amendment Literary Journal hosted a sexual assault awareness panel last Thursday to explore the themes of consent, societal attitudes toward abuse and the role of education in preventing assault.

The panel featured VCU Gender and Women’s Studies professor Liz Canfield, Assistant Director of Sexual & Intimate Partner Violence Services Fatima Smith and Virginia Anti-Violence Project activist Zakia McKensey.

“I think that the discussion surrounding around sexual violence is always difficult,” said Amendment editor Brittney Maddox. “When we first begin that dialogue we must approach it intersectionality.”

The panel also discussed various attitudes towards assault, abusive behaviors and potential indicators and red flags toward sexual assault and power imbalance.

“A lot of times dont realize people don’t recognize people are being abused,” McKensey said, noting that controlling behaviors can be a big warning sign of toxicity.

Maddox said sexual violence is more common than we think, but to start dialogue the associated stigma must also be addressed.

“Unpacking is never easy, but is it worth it? Yes,” Maddox said.

Canfield said Virginia’s laws regarding Title IX mandate persons report Title IX violations made helping people more difficult.

“There is never enough being done and that speaks back to the structure problem,” Smith said. “We are doing great things on a micro level, but legislation is so important.”

Staff Writer, Andrew Crider

Andrew Crider, photo by Brooke MarshAndrew is a junior economics major who has written for student newspapers since he was in high school. Andrew is interested in political history, aviation, photography and running. He has a tendency to refer to his peers, coworkers and bosses as “ma’am” or “sir,” but is getting better about referring to his friends at the CT by their first names instead. // Facebook


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