An imperfect feminist journey: Reflections on the process to develop an effective sexual assault resistance programme for university women
Author ORCID Identifier
Feminism and Psychology
feminist practice, intervention, prevention, rape, sexual assault
The work of feminist researchers to develop sexual assault resistance education programmes for women builds on the early work by feminist activists, self-defence instructors and other educators who stressed the importance of self-defence training for women. My research programme is strongly allied with this feminist herstory. My goals when I began were: to put feminist and social psychological theories into practice; to expand and reinforce young women's knowledge and skills so that they are better able to defend themselves against sexual coercion and assault by known men; and to facilitate broader social change on sexual assault, at least on my own campus and city. There have been four major areas where anticipated and unanticipated conflicts or dilemmas between my feminist values and beliefs and my practice arose. These were: (1) keeping responsibility on male perpetrators while designing and offering programmes for women; (2) making male responsibility and female empowerment palatable to young women; (3) facing the limitations of an individual approach to a social problem; and (4) making the research conform to granting agency expectations. This article is my attempt to make visible the feminist struggles and successes that I encountered on the journey. © The Author(s) 2011.
Senn, Charlene Y.. (2011). An imperfect feminist journey: Reflections on the process to develop an effective sexual assault resistance programme for university women. Feminism and Psychology, 21 (1), 121-137.