Sister Outsider | Mapping Violence: Why we need to talk about power

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When I started working on this piece, 22-year old Kasandra Perkins was shot to death nine times by her abusive partner, American football player Jovan Belcher. The very same day she was murdered, two other women, lost in and amongst nameless statistics, would have also been killed at the hands of their intimate partners in the US. A few weeks later, the horrific gang-rape of a 23-year old woman from Delhi who has since passed away, offered up a continued and ever painful reminder of the violent reality women are faced with daily. A reality in which, globally, women aged 15 – 44 are more at risk from rape and domestic violence than from cancer, car accidents, war and Malaria (cited in UN UniTE, 2011).

As a woman of colour, reducing violence or particular violent acts to sensationalised or individualised narratives has never been a luxury I could afford. Violence the world over is a collective endemic that my Feminist praxis screams out to confront. And yet, like many others, I’ve been plagued with how best we critically engage with the question of violence in order to take a step towards reducing, resisting and ultimately preventing it.

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