13. Description of the core message of your event and key topics to be covered (c.100 words):
Globally, nationally and locally men’s violence against women is an endemic social problem and an enduring human rights issue within all societies and cultures. The One Billion rising movement in response to high profile reporting of violence against women attests to the continuing urgency to raise awareness and to change how we respond to this violence. This could start with attitude change. This session will present new findings from two high profile research projects demonstrating the impact of ‘attitudes’ upon understanding the wider issues of gender-based violence.
Lombard’s research on primary school children’s understandings of men’s violence against women identified three techniques used by the young people to understand violence: 1. they naturalised violence (as a characteristic of abstract male identity), 2. they normalised it (to the extent that they do not recognise it in their own experiences) and 3. they justified most examples of men’s violence as an anticipated consequence of (accepted) gendered inequalities endorsed by heterosexual relationships. McMillan’s research on rape found that significant numbers of police officers believe a large proportion of rapes are false allegations and contradictory views exist between criminal justice actors (police, lawyers, judges) about the use and value of medico-legal evidence in rape cases. Also, tensions and contradictions around the police interview of rape victims are evident, revealing a mismatch between police and victim expectations. This panel session explores the impact of attitudes to the normalisation of violence in our society.
14. Does the event have particular local relevance?: