This week I went to two presentations for Women’s week. The first one that I attended was on “The Importance of Collective Care in the Helping Profession,” presented by Anuska Martins. She discussed the serious topic of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) and what she does in order to help women that are victim to this type of abuse. There are so many types of IPV and it can sometimes be hard for you to realize you are being victimized or you also might be in denial.Situations like these usually start of like normal relationships but then slowly tension starts to build and then one day your partner just snaps. Sometimes the love is so strong between the two people that the abusee often goes back to their abuser. When the women realize that things are wrong there are places that they can go to for help.
The woman that was speaking works at a shelter that looks like a big house so that it blends in with the other homes and not get any extra attention drawn to it. Nine women can stay at a time for up to three months and are allowed to bring their children. They get support and advice from the professional helpers. The location is confidential so the women don’t have to fear that anyone will find them.
It was interesting to hear that even though the professional helper’s job is to help the women in need, it sometimes gets too much for them too. They can be so focused on wanting to help the others out that they forget about their own feelings and may start to get burnout. They can start feeling resentful that they help people out with their problems but no one’s there to help them out with their own.
I always knew domestic abuse was a thing but this event really opened my eyes on what happens behind the scenes. It’s scary to think that someone you love can turn into someone so violent and take over your life and wellbeing. Myself and other people in the crowd definitely enjoyed the presentation but were also shocked on how often and how scary IPV actually happens. It was definitely a learning experience and something I would like to know more about.
The second presentation I went to was the Art in Response to Backlash presented by Sonya Stefan. She showed the crowd many images and videos of the things that she found interesting throughout the duration of her life. She has created clubs like La Lumiere Colllective in which people share films they’ve made to others for a low price, Telepresence is another club where she uses and collects old camera equipment to make mini films, Kids Pop is a service for young kids and Lux Magna where they celebrate culture and art.
This woman was a dancer and was insecure about her body, she knows that that is a struggle for a lot of women too. Growing up, it was hard for her to like her body and appreciate it but once she turned 35, the expression of art helped her love herself. Dance is an industry where the women had to “shut up and obey” and once she learned that it was actually an artform she began to be the best version of herself as she could.
Sonya defines feminism as someone who is honest, open and willing to learn, she was born a feminsit and believes she will die as one too.
I enjoyed listening to her speak and I hope to see her again next year.