Campus Advocacy Network Student Opportunities
Safety   Office of Women's Affairs Programs   For Faculty and Staff  

The Office of Women's Affairs (OWA) and the Campus Advocacy Network (CAN) feel very lucky to be part of a community that is as diverse and vibrant as UIC. We are committed to ensuring that all members of the community feel safe, listened to and valued. OWA and CAN strongly believe that valuing cultural and community differences is only the first step in appreciating diversity here at UIC. To truly appreciate diversity, we must acknowledge and confront those existing forces that privilege some while denying or making it difficult for others to access needed resources. As such, we consider the work of OWA and CAN to be part of a larger movement to safeguard human rights, promote social justice and end violence, particularly violence against women. To end violence against women we must confront sexism, racism, homophobia, ableism, ageism and classism in our work, educational and personal lives. We also understand that men are victims of violence or may have women in their lives who have experienced violence. We are here to support them as well.

In valuing diversity, we understand that women facing violence gain strength from the beliefs, traditions and support system they find in their communities. Religious and spiritual beliefs can be a great source of comfort and guidance to a woman in crisis. Traditional methods of healing may be more effective than mainstream medicine or counseling for women with strong ethnic ties. Friends from within a community may share a unique understanding of the history of struggles and triumphs of that community and women may draw on that history and those bonds for inspiration in times of distress. The staff of OWA and CAN encourages women to identify and turn to the resources that have been most meaningful to them. We hope that our services can augment whatever indigenous resources a woman may have, as well as open the doors to new ones.

Although we believe women gain strength from their communities, the staff of OWA and CAN understands that women from groups that have historically experienced oppression in our society may face additional challenges when dealing with interpersonal violence. Their communities may deal with racism, classism, ableism, or homophobia or other oppressive attitudes and behaviors from the larger society. At the same time, women may experience sexist attitudes and behaviors from within their communities. OWA and CAN believe that all women (and men) deserve safety from harm, but believe that this safety may be achieved in multiple ways. We are committed to working together with survivors of violence to realistically explore options open to them and support their attempts to access resources both on and off campus. Together we CAN find a way...

 

This project was supported by Grant No. 2002-WA-BX-0011 awarded by the Office of Violence Against Women and the U.S. Department of Justice. Points of view in this document are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.