On January 25, MacEwan students will present their research at the second annual Ending Sexual Violence Student Research Forum. The event is part of a comprehensive approach to addressing the issue of sexual violence that includes prevention, education and response.
Sexual violence – from vigilante justice to video games
January 23, 2019 | Society, Health, Campus Life
Delphine Brown and sociology prof Dr. Amanda Nelund were discussing independent study topics when vigilante justice – specifically the Canadian organization Creep Catchers – came up in conversation.
Delphine was studying criminology, so she decided to look at the organization’s YouTube videos of sting operations to see how sexual offenders were portrayed and gauge public response to the Creep Catchers approach. Overall, she found that public comments on the videos tended to be supportive: that the organization was doing great work that the police were neglecting. But Delphine wasn’t convinced, so she decided to dig deeper.
“The literature showed that when you expose offenders and make it harder for them to reintegrate into society and live a normal life in the community, they are more likely to reoffend,” she says. “And that negative attention really makes things worse for everyone.”
Delphine is one of seven students who are sharing their research at the second annual Ending Sexual Violence Student Research Forum on Friday, January 25. Topics range from hostility and kindness in online gaming and gendered violence in minor league baseball, to intimate partner violence in immigrant East Indian families in Canada, and using police data to predict recidivism among sexual offenders.
“These kinds of conversations aren’t just for the experts – they’re for everyone.”
Not only is the event an opportunity to showcase students’ learning, it’s also part of a comprehensive approach to addressing the issue of sexual violence, explains Roxanne Runyon, MacEwan’s sexual violence prevention and education coordinator.
“Students across disciplines are asking important questions, demonstrating creative research methods, and ultimately making rich contributions to how we as a community think about and respond to sexual violence.”
Though presenting in this way may seem a bit daunting at first, says Delphine, it’s definitely worthwhile.
“As students, most of the time we’re listening, but it’s also nice to feel like you have something to say,” she says. “When you’ve worked hard, done a lot of research and have something meaningful to share about a topic, it’s great to have the opportunity. These kinds of conversations aren’t just for the experts – they’re for everyone.”