Lecturer Jackson Katz to speak on violence against women at UNA

by Associate News Editor Kaitlyn Davis

Men and women of the campus and community are coming together to discuss violence against women.

Internationally acclaimed lecturer Jackson Katz will speak at Norton Auditorium April 13. His lecture, “More Than a Few Good Men: A Lecture on American Manhood and Violence Against Women,” addresses gender violence.

“As soon as I found out (Katz) was coming here, I called to see if it was free,” said Executive Director of Safeplace Rachel Cabaniss.

Safeplace is an organization that provides supportive services and help to at-risk youth.

Cabaniss saw Katz speak eight years ago at a conference in Birmingham.

“It was really interesting to me because he was the only man out there at the time who was talking about violence against women,” Cabaniss said.

Students who attend the lecture will hear Katz discuss how society and media breed violence against others and women, particularly on college campuses, said Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Title IX Coordinator Tammy Jacques.

Men play an integral part in stopping violence against women, Cabaniss said.

“One of the reasons Safeplace is so successful is because of the role men have played in the organization,” Cabaniss said.

An important fact to keep in mind is, “most abusers are male, but most men are not abusers,” Cabaniss said.

More men need to speak up about this issue though, said Sociology and Family Sciences Department Chair Yaschica Williams in an email.

“When we hear or see advocacy for victims of domestic or sexual violence, women’s voices are at the forefront,” Williams said. “However, for this culture of violence against women in our society to change, men and women must stand together. Men cannot remain silent.”

The event will be a nice ending to SGA’s “It’s On Us” campaign, said SGA President Nick Lang in an email. The campaign educates students about sexual assault.

“I think this lecture is super important for students to hear because it is important for all students to acknowledge that sexual assault and domestic violence are problems that need to be addressed by everyone,” Lang said. “This is not a women’s issue; it is a human being issue.”

Freshman Erin Reaves does not think violence is as big of a problem in Florence as it is in bigger cities, she said.

“I think it’d be a good program for UNA because we have so many transfer students,” Reaves said. “They go to different campuses, and they can teach their friends about (violence prevention).”

SGA is giving away a $500 scholarship and a flat-screen TV for students in attendance, Lang said.

The Bystander Intervention and Prevention education, SGA’s “It’s On Us” campaign and Student Nighttime Auxiliary Patrol help to prevent violence on campus.

“Our whole formation of (S.N.A.P.) is aimed at prevention of violence against women and students on campus,” said Center for Women’s Studies Coordinator Emily Kelley. “Yet we still all avoid talking about it, and (the lecture) will open discussion. This will help people grow in that respect.”

The university wanted Katz to come to campus due, in part, to the 2014 Campus Climate Survey, Kelley said.

The Campus Climate Survey offered insight to the amount of violence students experienced. The numbers included on and off campus violence, Jacques said.

“Our numbers are high on the dating, domestic violence,” Jacques said. “Now it doesn’t mean that always it was student on student, but it means that our students have experienced it.”

Students need to be prepared for life outside of college with knowledge about the prevention of violence, Jacques said.

“Why not have that conversation now?” Jacques said. “While college students are learning, that’s what (college) is about is challenging ourselves (and) our thinking, so that maybe we begin to challenge that thinking process in the future as citizens.”

Violence is not as big of a problem in Florence as it is in bigger cities, said freshman Erin Reaves.

“I think it’d be a good program for UNA because we have so many transfer students,” Reaves said. “They go to different campuses, and they can teach their friends about (violence prevention).”

Educating people about how women are treated is important, said junior Darby Garrison.

“I think people should spread the knowledge of what should be done and should not be done (for violence prevention),” Garrison said.