UVM to host program on rape culture

Students who may be interested in learning about rape culture will soon be able to attend a conference on the many issues that encompass the topic. The sixth annual Dismantling Rape Culture Conference (DRCC) will be held at the University on April 12, Women’s Center educator and Outreach coordinator Sarah Warrington said. The program hopes to offer an opportunity for students to become educated and aware of the rape culture that surrounds daily life, Warrington said. Rape culture is a culture in which rape and sexual violence are common, she said. It is also a culture in which the media and practices of the culture condone, normalize, excuse or encourage sexual violence, Warrington said. The DRCC hopes to combat this culture by having attendees leave with a greater understanding of how culture supports violence and how the attendees have the power and responsibility to transform it, she said. The conference will include a full day of activities that include letter writing and action workshops that students can choose from, Warrington said. The goal of the conference is to have a program suitable for all students, she said. The DRCC is not just available to women on campus; there are various activities that are offered for men only, Warrington said. “It is important for men to understand what this culture is and it’s relevant to everyone,” sophomore Anna Lee Nikoloski said. The conference will also include keynote speaker Samhita Mukhopadhyay, the executive editor for Feministing.com, Warrington said. “[Mukhopadhyay] brings to light issues and concerns that are in the media,” she said. The Women’s Center, in preparation for the conference, is urging students to sign up for the conference online at the Women’s Center website, Warrington said. Various social media are also being used to promote the conference such as a Facebook event page, she said.