The following are descriptions of the four core classes offered by the Program in Gender-Based Violence. Please note that these classes will change in name and content beginning in Fall 2014, as part of the evolution from the Program on Domestic Violence to the new Program on Gender-Based Violence.
Women and Violence: a Sociological Perspective
This course is on violence against women, but includes violence against girls, and will also make comparisons regarding violence against men and boys. The ideological approach in the course is feminist. That is, the course lectures and reading materials will attempt to address the issue of violence against women (and girls) in terms of how gender inequality is related to the violence against women (and girls). The feminist approach the professor takes is to incorporate the intersection of sexism and other forms of oppression, such as racism, classism and heterosexism. The topics covered will focus on sexual assault (including incest) and battering, but will also include sexual coercion, sexual harassment and stalking.
Psychology of Violence Against Women
This class addresses the contributions and the limitations of current empirical and clinical psychological literatures about domestic violence. Domestic violence workers will become more able to distinguish among mental health professionals in regard to their readiness to work effectively with DV clients. Mental health professionals will obtain an understanding of the needs of domestic violence agencies and their clients. This class focuses primarily on the effects of domestic violence on women and children and on their psychological needs. The class is appropriate for students whose primary interests concern perpetrator treatment. The class begins with a brief introduction to the necessary concepts of developmental psychopathology and empirical research. Initially, contemporary research about DV perpetrators is addressed to identify implications for assisting victims. Regarding the central focus on women and child victims, topics include theories about the effects of violence, psychological assessment, crisis and open-ended interventions.
Battered Women and the Legal System
Battered women intersect with the legal system in many different arenas. The class is geared toward those who will provide legal advocacy for battered women. This course will analyze a variety of issues surrounding battered women and their experiences in the legal system, including legislative trends and the responses of the criminal and civil court system to domestic violence (law enforcement agents, prosecutors and judges). The course will also explore battered women as defendants and women convicted of killing their abusers. This course is designed to provide students with an understanding of (a) the major developments in statutory and case law; (b) the role and responses of law enforcement agents; (c) the function of the courtroom work group; (d) the role and process of victim advocacy.
Domestic Violence Advocacy and Social Change
This course shall provide students with an understanding of different models of social change and the various strategies of public address, including social movements and campaigns that accomplish social change. We will specifically explore the rhetorical strategies, tactics, strengths and weaknesses of contemporary movements such as the civil rights movement, the black power movement, the women's movement, the gay and lesbian liberation movements, public health campaigns and the battered women's movement. We will then ask how might the battered women's movement develop successful public discourses that advocates their cause, transform public policy, and build or reform public institutions such as the justice system? Skills provided: understanding of successful modes of public address and tactics of activism that produce changes in public policy and reform institutional practices.