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Legal and social welfare experts tackle sexual violence against women at a day-long symposium at Loyola University New Orleans

Loyola press release - April 7, 1998

(New Orleans)—With the continual increase in violence, particularly sexual violence against women, April has been proclaimed “Sexual Assault Awareness Month.” In light of startling statistics which show that over the last two years 787,000 women were the victims of rape or sexual assault, the Loyola University New Orleans Women’s Center and the School of Law have teamed up to sponsor a Symposium on Sexual Violence on Friday, April 17, 1998. The event is free and open to the public Funded by Mary Kay Inc., the symposium will address such issues as the incidence and prevalence of rape and stalking, the impact of sexual violence, and legal and social responses to sexual violence. It will include four panels of experts from around the country in the fields of law, criminal justice, sociology, and psychology with moderators and respondents.

Over a dozen panelists, who are distinguished feminist and legal scholars from across the nation, will participate in the discussion. Speakers represent Columbia University, the University of Minnesota Law School, the University of California at Berkeley, University of Chicago, Harvard University and DePaul University as well as the Rape Crisis Center in Washington, D.C. Panel members are national and Fulbright scholars and prolific authors. Additionally, panel participate Lynne Henderson, a professor at Indiana University School of Law, is a rape survivor and former rape crisis worker.

The first panel, Defining Sexual Violence, will be from 9:15­10:45 a.m. and will attempt to define rape, which occurs every two minutes in America, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. In light of this shocking statistic and the fact that 68 percent of rape victims are assaulted by their husbands, boyfriends, acquaintances, or other relatives, panel members also will examine the relationship among violence, sexual assault, and the increasing prevalence of date rape. Panel moderator will be Isabel Medina, associate professor at Loyola University New Orleans School of Law.

The second panel, Rape and Consent: Are There Any Questions?, will be from 11 a.m.­12:30 p.m. and will look into “The Recent Abuse of Date Rape Drugs.” Panel members will explore statistics which state that 72 out of every 100,000 females in the U.S. are raped annually, 45 percent of rapists are under the influence of alcohol when the incident occurs, and 29 percent are armed weapons. Panel moderator will be Chris Flynn, director of Counseling and Career Services Center at Loyola University New Orleans.

The third panel, Legal and Social Responses to Sexual Violence, will be from 2­3:30 p.m. and will look at the association among law, society, and sexual assault. It will address the number of rapes reported to law enforcement officials – 26 percent according to the U.S. Department of Justice – and the positive benefits of counseling and advocacy services to rape victims. Panel moderator will be Edward McCaughan, assistant professor of sociology at Loyola University New Orleans.

The fourth panel, Ethics and Sexual Violence, will be from 3:45­5 p.m. and will explore the issue of ethics in prosecution and defense of persons accused of sexual violence through a simulation of a courtroom drama. Judge Calvin Johnson, criminal district court for the Orleans Parish, and Dane Ciolino, assistant professor at Loyola School of Law, will preside.

The symposium will be held on Friday, April 17, 1998 from 9 a.m.­ 5 p.m. in Nunemaker Auditorium, located in the J. Edgar Monroe Memorial Hall at Loyola University New Orleans, 6363 St. Charles Avenue. For information on the symposium, call 861-5888.

For Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credit and reservations, call 861-5564.

In conjunction with the symposium, Irina Costache, assistant professor of visual arts at Loyola, will deliver a lecture, “Sex, Violence and Women: The Representation of Rape in Western Art,” on Thursday, April 16, 7:30 p.m. in Nunemaker Auditorium, Loyola University.