This workshop will use the analogy of the "braid" to better understand the larger structural forces of criminalization, neoliberalism, and professionalization of domestic and sexual violence advocacy work and how they have influenced the anti-violence movement. The desired outcome of this session is to create a collective space for small and large group dialogue to think critically about how these macro-level forces have shaped and constrained our work. In addition, we want to lift up ways that advocates and programs are actively resisting and subverting the braid in their day-to-day efforts, specifically ways we resist these limiting forces to provide trauma-informed and participant-centered advocacy that is connected to larger social change.
We will begin the session with a brief presentation that focuses on an analysis of how the "braid" has impacted advocacy efforts and the structure of the field. Through small and large group dialogue, we will ask participants to reflect on this analysis in relation to their own work with a focus on the following questions:
- How does each strand of the braid show up in their work? What are ways that they feel that the braid constrains or shapes their work?
- How do they see these forces as interconnected (or not)?
- How are they/their programs resisting/subverting the braid?
We will close by generating recommendations for next steps and moving our work forward. In particular, we will discuss what it would look like to reimagine liberatory and creative strategies for addressing intimate violence given the larger macro context of the "braid".