Violence: A Barrier to Our Education

by Lisa Bryn Rundle and Nicole Ysabet-Scott

Most of us believe that the right to education, from kindergarten through high school, is fundamental. However, not everyone is able to fully enjoy that right...Women who have lived in violent homes, who have been subjected to physical or sexual abuse, or who have experienced systemic violence..., [do] not receive an education that is safe, empowering, relevant or useful.

Isolating the Barriers...1

It sparked ideas for both of us immediately. As we read over the proposal for the project we were about to begin, we found ourselves talking excitedly though we had only just met. While we had both worked extensively on violence issues in our personal and public lives, neither of us had ever applied what we knew about the effects of violence to education. Once we began to think and read about these connections, we realized that violence had affected our own learning, and the learning of women we know, in profound ways. In this article, we will share just some of those original sparks, as well as those subsequent, in the hopes they will ignite the interest and passion of those who understand violence from experience, or those who want to understand for any reason.

Neither of us
had ever
applied what
we knew about
the effects of
violence to

Over the course of this past summer, we worked together to produce a series of booklets and fact sheets to raise awareness about violence as a barrier to women's education. As we began the project, we also began to deal with the numerous feelings it triggered for both of us. Among other things, we felt overwhelmed, angry, sad, frustrated and lucky-lucky because we had an opportunity to make change in an area which has been, and still is, very important to both of us.

Upon realizing the connection between our learning and our experiences of violence, we began to share our stories with each other. As we spoke, the scope of those experiences became broader and clearer. We began to place daily occurrences that we witnessed or experienced, in high school and university, into the larger context of violence as a barrier to women's education. The connections seemed endless.

La violence : un obstacle à notre éducation
par Lisa Bryn Rundle et Nicole Ysabet-Scott

L'été dernier nous avons préparé de concert une série de brochures et de feuilles de données pour sensibiliser davantage les gens an problème que pose la violence en tant qu'obstacle a l'éducation des femmes. Ce projet nous a permis de tracer des liens entre notre apprentissage et notre expérience de la violence. De plus, nous avons échangé des histoires à ce propos. Nous avons inclus certaines de ces histoires dans cet article.

Nous avons d'abord décidé de définir largement le terme «violence» Nous y englobons les abus psychologiques, sexuels, financiers et rituels, ainsi que la discrimination se fondant sur des attitudes sexistes, racistes, hétérosexistes, ainsi que sur celles relevant de l'âgisme et du système de classe. Nous espérons ainsi qu'en élargissant la définition de la violence, des femmes qui n'avaient pas précédemment envisagé leur vécu, ou celui d'une femme qu'elles connaissent, comme violent pourront désormais la faire d'une manière saine ci utile. La série comprend deux brochures (une pour les apprenantes et une pour les éducatrices) et trois feuilles de données sur les thèmes suivants : dépistage de la violence, sécurité dans les écoles et façon de réagir lorsqu'une femme divulgue un acte de violence.

Nous estimons que nous avons eu beaucoup de chance de porter à terme ce projet et d'avoir eu la possibilité de contribuer à certains changements dans un secteur qui nous tient à coeur.

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