Rape culture to be discussed

On April 5, the Seventh Annual Dismantling Rape Culture Conference (DRCC) will be held in the Davis Center from 8-4:30 p.m.

The event is free to UVM students, faculty and staff and is sponsored by UVM Women’s Center, Chief Diversity Office, Department of Student Life and Residential Life, and the Inter-Residence Association.

“I think education about this issue is so important,” first-year Kristen Wade said. “People don’t realize it, but things like [sexual assault] happen behind our backs every single day.” 

The conference will aim to question, challenge and educate attendees on common existing views surrounding rape culture. Activist, author and survivor Marta Sanchez will present at the event as keynote speaker.  

Indigo James, sophomore, and a member of the event planning board described rape culture.

“Rape culture is the systematic, normalized denial and the condoning of sexual violence in our culture,” James said.

Rape culture in our country is swayed by attitudes, norms, media and social practices of everyday life, she said. 

“We want to educate people about what consent and healthy sexuality look like,” James said.  

The DRCC will also be a source of support and empowerment for those who have survived victimization of sexual violence and abuse. 

“Our culture allows and excuses these episodes of violence,” James said. “We want to let survivors know they aren’t alone.”

First-year student Lucy Basa mentioned that the conference is important because rape culture is a prominent issue that is often overlooked in today’s society.

“The rape culture in America really accentuates the underlying meaning of the way in which women are viewed and treated in today’s society,” Basa said.

Registration for the event is required and is now open. To learn more about the DRCC and to register for the event, visit www.uvm.edu/~women/dcr.