Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Call for papers: gendered violence research network conference



Conference Background
The Gendered Violence Research Network (GVRN) – a joint initiative of UNSW Arts and Social Sciences and UNSW Law – will hold its inaugural Asia-Pacific conference on Gendered Violence and Violations at UNSW Australia (The University of New South Wales) in Sydney on 10-12 February 2015.

Gendered violence is increasingly recognised as a major global problem and constitutes a violation of human rights for women, men, children and elders. This ground-breaking international conference with an Asia-Pacific focus will combine and expand interdisciplinary research and practitioner knowledge to encourage innovation and best practice in responding to gendered and sexualised violence. It will also be an opportunity to explore less visible violations related to gendered inequality and injustice, including the continuing effects of colonisation.
Conference Themes / Streams
The GVRN conference aims to facilitate the exchange of perspectives, ideas and strategies between countries, regions and sectors, and will focus on the following conference themes/streams:
  • Investigating psycho-social, therapeutic and prevention interventions for gendered violence and violations: what are emerging interventions and do we know how effective they are, and can we intervene and prevent at the same time?
  • Engaging with policy and legal responses to gendered violence and violations: how are policies at different levels being designed, implemented and evaluated; and what are existing and potential innovative legal responses?
  • Exploring conceptualisations and representations of gendered violence and violations: how can various art forms  literature, television, visual arts and multimedia  be used by diverse cultural groups, and produce spaces of critique and agency?

Abstract Submissions / Call for Papers

The GVRN seeks submissions from academics, practitioners, policy makers, activists and advocates that address any of the conference themes, as well as the topics below. 
Forms of gendered violence, including:
  • Sexual assault
  • Domestic and family violence
  • Intimate partner violence
  • Child sexual abuse
  • Trafficking for domestic and sexual slavery and exploitation
  • Survival sex
  • Conflict-related sexualised violence
  • Gendered violence in migration, refugee and diaspora communities
  • Female infanticide
Areas related to gendered violence, including:
  • Cultural representations in literature, art, television and film
  • Law and justice reform
  • Theoretical and conceptual explorations
  • Disability and other intersectional issues
  • Intergenerational effects of colonisation
  • Perpetrators and offenders
  • Primary prevention
  • Trauma-informed care
  • Service gaps.
Submission Guidelines
Please submit abstracts of up to 200 words for 20 minute oral/paper presentations (excluding time for Q&A) along with a brief biography using the link to UNSW’s online conference manager as below. Proposals for complete panels (up to 3 presenters) and suggestions for chairs are also welcome. The deadline for abstracts is Friday, 5 September 2014.


Selection of Papers
We particularly welcome submissions that introduce challenging and unconventional perspectives, emerging evidence on the effectiveness of interventions, and those which are globally relevant or from the Asia-Pacific region. Other criteria for selection will include quality, organisation and clarity, originality, accessibility and relevance to current debates related to gendered violence. If papers are based on empirical research, preference will be given to abstracts showing evidence of research results.
Papers presented elsewhere may be submitted for consideration at this conference provided that full disclosure is made in the abstract submission.
Acceptance of papers for presentation at the conference is necessarily competitive. Selection will be the responsibility of the GVRN Conference Academic Committee, and will be based on the abstracts submitted. The GVRN Conference Academic Committee reserves the right to decline any submission.

Notification of acceptance will be on or before Friday, 17 October 2014. Successful applicants will be notified using the email address provided in the submission. Applicants must confirm their intention to participate and have paid their registration fees (at the discounted early bird rate) by Friday, 14 November 2014.
Publications

Selected contributors will be invited to submit extended versions of their papers for inclusion in one of several peer-reviewed post-conference publications.

 


About the Gendered Violence Research Network
GVRN members explore gendered violence – also known as gender-related or gender-based violence – as an expression of power and control over individuals or groups because of their gender. GVRN’s research interests span traumatic experiences including sexual assault, rape, domestic and family violence, conflict-related sexual violence, trafficking for domestic and sexual exploitation, and girl child infanticide. 
Subscribe for More Information
For updates on the conference – including the launch of the conference website, registrations opening, program details, confirmed speakers, master classes and poster sessions, sponsorship/partnership opportunities – as well as information about other GVRN activities, please subscribe to our e-List:
Subscribe here!
For specific enquiries about the conference or GVRN, please refer to the contact details below.
Our mailing address is:
Gendered Violence Research Network
UNSW AUSTRALIA (The University of New South Wales)
Sydney NSW 2052 Australia

Phone: +61 2 9385 2991
Fax: +61 2 9385 2993
Email: gvrn@unsw.edu.au
Website: www.arts.unsw.edu.au/gvrn

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

My four step approach to coping with separation and divorce

When you have been helping people going through divorce as long as I have, over 29 years (sorry that figure just made me feel old!), then you start to think about how different people recover from the pain of divorce and separation quicker than other people.

Over time, I have distilled this down to four factors. Sure there are others, but I see these four as being vital.

Factor 1: have a support network

I can't emphasise how important this is. If you are going through the pain of separation and divorce, it is vital in my view to have friends and family to whom you can talk and get things off your chest. someone to bounce ideas off. To give you support at those moments when you might otherwise do something silly. Who aren't too judgmental, but have good, calm heads on their shoulders. Support from a support network such as this is vital, and often the most important factor in getting through the pain of divorce and separation in one piece.

Factor 2: see a counsellor

Some of my clients don't get this, but I'll make it clear here: much as I am great at giving advice, I am a lawyer, not a counsellor. Counsellors are trained in the social sciences, and hopefully can listen well, and respond to you in positive ways. When your friends and family have had enough, or more than enough of supporting you through one disaster or another, please oh please get the support of someone who is paid to listen to you and to help you. Someone who will give you trained and dispassionate advice, and will charge you a lot less than a lawyer!

Factor 3: have a positive attitude to life

When the heavens open up, and lighting and thunder abounds, you fell betrayed by your ex, and cannot believe the latest outrage in his Facebook post, or in her solicitor's letter, or in his girlfriend's affidavit, or in his text message, it's easy to get angry. If anger is not dissipated quickly, it accumulates, and festers, and eventually turns into bitterness- driving you into a sour, shrivelled human being, who drives friends and family away (hence no support network except from other bitter people) and can have a devastating impact on your kids. No matter how hard it may seem, and ensuring that you take proper stock of your situation and do not live in a fool's paradise, have a positive attitude to life. You will find that by doing so that you will get through the most trying of circumstances quicker and in better shape than if you remain angry and bitter.

I remember many years ago acting for a female client who came to me under the most desperate circumstances. Police had rescued her from the farm in which she lived with her husband- before he might have killed her.

My client, I'll call her Grace, then went on to Centrelink benefits, lived in an outer suburb with no car, and virtually no public transport, and eventually in the most trying of circumstances managed to get a menial job. On top of everything else, when she split from her husband, Grace was shunned from her church, because she dared to split from her husband- no matter that he had beaten her, and threatened to kill her while armed with a gun.

To get to and from work everyday required gargantuan effort- and on top of that she had the Family Court fight from hell. It was a typical knock down, drag out matter, where Grace's husband tried to use every trick in the book to make sure that Grace did not get a cent. Think Josef Stalin's scorched earth policy and you've got the general idea. Grace after all that did get paid.

In the midst of this fight, I asked Grace how she was going. What I expected to hear was- terrible, awful, everything is bad, I'm the victim, etc, etc. Imagine my surprise when Grace said life could not be better. Why, said I? This doesn't make sense. Grace had a job, and all the feeling of socialising and pride that came from that. She found new fun- including water skiing- not bad for a woman in her 50's. Grace found new friends. Life had turned the corner- she could not have been happier. On top of everything else, Grace's mystery kidney complaint, which could not be cured, but resulted in her hospitalisation, but which doctors attributed to stress, amazingly lifted after she left her husband- and never returned.

Factor 4: get fit

Getting fit for most of us is not hard- it just requires a little time, effort and discipline. Provided you have some walking shoes it can be done for free. It sounds obvious, but exercise for someone going through the pain of separation and divorce is one of the best antidotes:

  • feeling fitter and stronger will mean that you have a more positive attitude to life
  • while exercising, you can get all those negative thoughts out of your brain, and either be able to reflect or meditate
  • while exercising, you will be absorbing more oxygen- again making you feel better
  • while exercising, your body will release endorphins- the body's natural pain killers- also giving you that euphoric feeling.