Target Practice

On Wednesday, February 10th at the Student Center, Theatre, Eastern Connecticut State University welcomed Elise Delacruz, the Training and Technical Assistance Coordinator at the Connecticut Alliance to end Sexual Violence. Delacruz’ important presentation called “Target Practice: The Relationship of Sexual Violence and Systemic Oppression Communities of Color” called us to think more about the herstories of violence against vulnerable groups of people, with a particular focus on women of color. 

The presentation introduced an important discussion on systemic oppression impacts the complex lives of communities of color and the anti-sexual violence movement. Revealing cases of sexual violence and violation of human rights throughout history and then displaying similar patterns in today’s society displays that this epidemic is no longer a “past issue”.

On example that Delacruz focused on was the subjugation of Black women’s bodies and ways that it has been embedded into the very fabric of our society. For example, J. Marlon Simms, the father of gynecology, experimented on enslaved black women without anesthesia. Another is Sally Hemmings, who was a black woman owned by Thomas Jefferson whom assaulted her at the age of fourteen. Also learning that about five percent of America’s population is currently incarcerated and paralleled slavery in the 1800’s foster perspective for the audience. Through the dissection of oppression in the United States over the decades, Delacruz gave a serious and professional interactive presentation that left the audience to reflect upon themselves and their choices.

We all have a responsibility to do our part to end interpersonal violence. What is your responsibility?

For more information about support services, upcoming programs and/or ways to become more involved with the Women’s Center, please contact Ms. Starsheemar Byrum at byrums@easternct.edu.