What Does It Mean to Be a Young African Woman on a University Campus in Times of Sexual Violence? A New Moment, a New Conversation

Astrid Treffry-Goatley, Naydene de Lange, Relebohile Moletsane, Nkonzo Mkhize, Lungile Masinga
2018 Behavioral Sciences  
Sexual violence in the higher education is an epidemic of global proportions. Scholars conclude that the individual and collective silence that surrounds such violence enables its perpetration and that violence will only be eradicated when we break this silence. In this paper, we used two participatory visual methods (PVM), collage and storytelling, to explore what sexual violence at university looks like and what it means to woman students. Two groups of student teachers in two South African
more » ... two South African universities were engaged in collage and storytelling workshops in late 2017 and early 2018, respectively. We thematically analyzed the issues that emerged from the data, drawing on transformative learning theory to explore how our approach might help women students to break the silence around sexual violence and stimulate critical dialogue to address it. Our analysis suggests that these visual tools enabled deep reflections on the meaning and impact of sexual violence, particularly for women. In addition, the participatory process supported introspection about their experiences of sexual violence and their responses to it as bystanders in and around campus. More importantly, they discussed how they, as young women, might break the silence and sustain new conversations about gender and gender equality in institutions and beyond.
doi:10.3390/bs8080067 pmid:30050003 fatcat:om4rwh2ikbcgpbjg2epkqsribe