When a people chooses the nonviolent path, it is all too often the case that hardly anyone pays attention. -Bishop Carlos Belo
The Response Based Approach Five Main Assumptions 1.Whenever people are badly treated, they always resist. 2.People tend not to notice that victims resist abuse. 3.Perpetrators of violence know that victims will resist, so they make plans to stop the victims from resisting.
The Response Based Approach Five Main Assumptions 4.Violent and abusive behaviour is always done deliberately. 5.When it comes to domestic violence, appearances are deceiving. – Todd, Ogden, Weaver-Dunlop, & Craik, 2007
The Response Based Approach Some important definitions: – Victim: the person who has been purposely harmed by the unwanted actions of another. The victim is in no way responsible for the abusive actions of another. – Perpetrator: the person in a close relationship who chooses to behave in ways that harm, control, or dominate another.
The Response Based Approach Some important definitions: – Resistance : Any mental or behavioural act through which a person attempts to expose, withstand, repel, stop, prevent, abstain from, strive against, impede, refuse to comply with, or oppose any form of violence or oppression (including any type of disrespect), or the conditions that make such acts possible, may be understood as a form of resistance – Todd, Ogden, Weaver-Dunlop, & Craik, 2007
The Research So why is it important we re-examine how abuse is portrayed in mass media, and specifically how victim resistance is portrayed? – Increases acceptance of interpersonal violence against women – Minimizes abuse and its impacts – Misinformation about abuse and view of victims
The Research – People identify with sources of media E.g. Teens draw heavily from media images as they navigate the road to self-discovery and identification – Mitigates responsibility for abuse from the perpetrator, placing it on the victim – Focus on victimization only is disempowering – Response-based approach is a novel concept – Resistance is an event
Myths and Stereotypes about Resistance Acts of resistance must be overt Resistance should be significant to everyone Resistance = mutualized violence Women’s resistance is often conceptualized only as exit Resistance stops the violence
Excerpt from “Still I Rise” By Maya Angelou You may write me down in history With your bitter, twisted lies, You may trod me in the very dirt But still, like dust, I'll rise. Does my sassiness upset you? Why are you beset with gloom? ’Cause I walk like I've got oil wells Pumping in my living room. Does my haughtiness offend you? Don't you take it awful hard ’Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines Diggin’ in my own backyard. You may shoot me with your words, You may cut me with your eyes, You may kill me with your hatefulness, But still, like air, I’ll rise.
Examples in Literature “The Hunger Games” By Suzanne Collins Symbol of the Mockingjay Refusing to kill others in the Hunger Games, and instead avoiding others to stay alive
Examples in Literature Forming a true friendship with Rue, and later grieving the loss of her life – “They’ll want me to clear out now. So they can collect the bodies... Then I remember Peeta’s words on the roof. “Only I keep wishing I could think of a way to... to show the Capital they don’t own me. That I’m more than just a piece in their Games.” And for the first time, I understand what he means. I want to do something, right here, right now, to shame them, to make them accountable, to show the Capitol that whatever they do or force us to do there is a part of every tribute they can’t own. That Rue was more than a piece in their Games. And so am I.”
Examples in Literature Millenium Series Trilogy By Stieg Larsson “...She was troubled by unpleasant fantasies about what was going to happen to her. No matter how hard she tired to concentrate on something else – to pass the time and to distract her from the situation she was in...she had discovered that the most effective method of keeping the fear at bay was to fantasize about something that gave her a feeling of strength.”
Examples in Literature “She saw his mouth move, but she shut out the sound of his voice. She did not want to listen. She did not want to answer. She heard him raise his voice. A hint of irritation at her failure to respond. He talked about mutual trust. After a few minutes he stopped. She ignored his gaze.”
Examples in Literature “All attempts by a teacher or any authority figure to initiate a conversation with the girl about her feelings, emotional life, or the state of her health were met, to their great frustration, with a sullen silence and a great deal of intense staring at the floor, ceiling, and walls. She would fold her arms and refuse to participate in any psychological tests. Her resistance to all attempts to measure, weigh, chart, analyse, or educate her applied also to her school work - the authorities could have her carried to a classroom and could chain her to the bench, but they could not stop her from closing her ears and refusing to lift a pen to write anything. She completed the nine years of compulsory schooling without a certificate.”
Examples in Literature From The Girl Who Played With Fire by Steig Larsson “The night she turned thirteen she decided never again to exchange a word with Teleborian or any other psychiatrist or shrink. That was her birthday present to herself. And she had kept her promise. She knew that it infuriated Teleborian and perhaps contributed more than anything else to her being strapped down so tightly night after night. But that was a price she was willing to pay.”
Examples in Literature From “Because I Am Furniture” By Thalia Chaltas I am always there. But they don’t care if I am because I am furniture. I don’t get hit I don’t get fondled I don’t get love because I am furniture.
Examples in Literature “Somehow this is worse than the normal yelling. Quiet and earnest, he is squatting in front of me. I hunch on the couch. “I know you think you want to play volleyball. ----aren’t I already? Competition creates nastiness, ---dissolves nastiness, you mean a false sense of empowerment, an ‘I’m better than you’ euphoria- ---my team is better than yours, maybe believe me, I know. I wouldn’t want you to get caught up in that, the hunger for controls over others. When I was young blah blah blah blah...” ---Blah blah blah... My hearing sinks into a cool, soundless cellar, my eyes watch his thin lips moving against each other in silence, and I know that Darren and Yaicha were right when they once used our father to teach me the meaning of the word hyprocrite. When he finishes his oration with a “Do we understand each other?” I say “Yes, Father.” - But you didn’t specifically tell me to quit.
Examples in Literature “I bought it with my own money.” Yaicha is backed into a corner of the hallway, held against the doorjamb by our father’s wrath. “I will not have you tarting up your face like a hooker!” he thunders, throwing her compact of blush against a wall. But look at her, I want to tell him. She knows how to make it seem natural. Yaicha scurries into her room. He barrels through my shoulder as he stomps by, and I am staring at the tiny dent he made in the wall paint. I pick up the plastic case, slipping it into my back pocket to give to her later. It seems I move quietly in the darkened house because Yaicha doesn’t hear me come to the living room as she sinks onto her heels by his favourite chair. I watch her open the compact draw a fingertip across the makeup and luxuriantly lovingly smear a thick pink line low across the fabric of the chair back, grinning at it wickedly.
“Somebody that I used to know” By Gotye (Male vocals) But you didn't have to cut me off Make out like it never happened and that we were nothing And I don't even need your love But you treat me like a stranger and that feels so rough No you didn't have to stoop so low Have your friends collect your records and then change your number I guess that I don't need that though Now you're just somebody that I used to know (Female vocals) Now and then I think of all the times you screwed me over But had me believing it was always something that I'd done But I don't wanna live that way Reading into every word you say You said that you could let it go And I wouldn't catch you hung up on somebody that you used to know
Examples in Music “Love the Way You Lie” by Eminem & Rihanna (Male vocals) Now I know we said things, did things that we didn't mean And we fall back into the same patterns, same routine But your temper's just as bad as mine is, you're the same as me But when it comes to love, you're just as blinded Baby, please come back, it wasn't you, baby, it was me Maybe our relationship isn't as crazy as it seems Maybe that's what happens when a tornado meets a volcano All I know is I love you too much to walk away though Come inside, pick up your bags off the sidewalk Don't you hear sincerity in my voice when I talk? Told you this is my fault, look me in the eyeball Next time I'm pissed, I'll aim my fist at the drywall Next time? There won't be no next time I apologize, even though I know it's lies I'm tired of the games, I just want her back, I know I'm a liar If she ever tries to fuckin' leave again, I'ma tie her to the bed And set this house on fire (Female vocals) Just gonna stand there and watch me burn Well that's alright because I like the way it hurts Just gonna stand there and hear me cry Well, that's alright because I love the way you lie I love the way you lie
Discussion How can we highlight victims’ acts as resistance when presented in media? – Versus labelling ‘common couple violence’ and losing critical contextual information How do media portrayals of victims’ resistance - or lack thereof... – Contribute to their help-seeking behaviours? – Perpetuate the stereotype that victims are passive?
Discussion How do different forms of media conceal versus reveal resistance? – Adaptation of ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ When we are talking about art – and artistic expression – are there exemptions when it comes to family violence?
Next Steps Be critical of violence when depicted in media Challenge these constructions of violence – Especially when they conceal or ignore victim resistance Start the conversation!