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Challenging Despair: Teaching About Women's Resistance to Violence

NCJ Number
Violence Against Women Volume: 11 Issue: 6 Dated: June 2005 Pages: 776-791
Jocelyn A. Hollander
Date Published
June 2005
16 pages
This article describes an approach in teaching about violence against women that balances discussion of violence with information about women’s individual and collective resistance.
This article describes a new approach in teaching a class about violence against women. Resistance has become an explicit and ongoing theme in the class. Not only is violence against women discussed, but so are violence and women’s resistance to it. This approach is seen as reducing some of the negative effects and does not compromise the students’ views of violence as a serious and urgent social problem. The article further describes this approach and its integration into class by using a working definition of violence in assigned readings, in guest speakers, and in the course assignments. These strategies help balance students’ feelings of vulnerability and futility when learning about violence and provide a more complex picture of the realities of violence in women’s lives. This new approach helps counter the myth that women can never defend themselves from men’s violence and helps expand the students’ understandings of resistance to include emotional, psychological, and verbal strategies. References