Interpersonal Violence Speaker's Bureau Recruiting New Members

Wednesday, September 25 2013

The UI Interpersonal Violence Speaker's Bureau is recruiting new members for the 2013-14 academic year.
What's the purpose of the Speaker's Bureau? People tend to avoid talking about interpersonal violence because the subject matter is so challenging and complex, rooted in cultural norms and lived experiences.

There are no easy answers and thinking about the issues surrounding assault can feel overwhelming. But, if we can’t talk about it, how do we work to change the underlying factors of violence in our society? If survivors don’t feel respected and safe talking about their experiences, how does healing begin? If we pretend IPV assaults don’t exist, how do we make informed and educated choices as citizens in regard to policy and politics?

We are students, staff, faculty and community members who either are survivors of interpersonal violence or allies in changing our culture to reduce interpersonal violence. We are a resource for students, student and general media, faculty and staff. Our immediate goal is to remove the stigma from survivors and discussions surrounding sexual assault, child abuse, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking to create empathy and inspire individual and collective action in addressing the causes underlying person-to-person violence.

Audiences may include: residence halls, classes, events, faculty meetings or groups, etc. News reporters, faculty, staff and students might also wish to contact Speakers Bureau members for stories and projects in which they need to talk to someone close to the issues.

Our vision is to:
* Increase visibility and counteract misinformation surrounding IPV
* Discuss the diversity of experiences of survivors
* Make the “culture of violence” real and tangible for people who have not experienced it directly.
* Empower audience members who are survivors who may not have reached out for support and/or resources
* Educate on how to listen, be a friend and respond positively when a victim discloses
* Demonstrate the importance of being an ally in regard to personal decisions, i.e. when rape jokes are made, etc.
* Serve as an impetus for questioning larger issues of social oppression and violence
* Bring together survivors, supporters and activists so they can develop larger support networks and strengthen or create friendships
* Educate the University of Idaho community about IPV issues unique to college students and citizens in this region

To learn more about the Speaker's Bureau, or to schedule a conversation about joining, email Virginia Solan at or call (208)885-0688.