Gender Violence in Idaho: Affecting our Most Marginalized Communities

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Gender Violence in Idaho: Affecting our Most Marginalized Communities

Women’s March participants gather near the speaker podium; facing the large crowd that makes up the Women’s March.

Women’s March participants gather near the speaker podium; facing the large crowd that makes up the Women’s March.

Photo Credit: Devon Smith

Women’s March participants gather near the speaker podium; facing the large crowd that makes up the Women’s March.

Photo Credit: Devon Smith

Photo Credit: Devon Smith

Women’s March participants gather near the speaker podium; facing the large crowd that makes up the Women’s March.

Lauren Lafrades, Editor-In-Chief

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In 2017, there were 17 domestic violence related fatalities in Idaho according to the Idaho Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence . In 2018, there were 5,284 911 calls related to domestic abuse, sexual assault and child abuse, 3,743 calls for service related to domestic abuse including domestic battery report, domestic violence-threat, and domestic dispute, and 1,125 911 calls for service related to sexual assault including lewd conduct, rape and sexual assault as reported by Ada County Sheriff’s Office. These numbers fail to recognize the innumerable cases in Idaho that were left unreported.

Historical and systematic cultures of oppression have resulted in the prominent issues surrounding gender violence. “Gender violence is not about sex, it is about power and domination. Historically, men have dominated womxn, trans folks, and gender nonconforming people. White people have dominated people of color. Straight and cisgender people have dominated the LGBTQIA+ community. Neurotypical and able bodied people have dominated people with disabilities. The most oppressed groups […] have dramatically higher rates of being victims of violence.” explains Alyssa Wainaina, a Social Change Activist for the Idaho Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence.

The toxic power dynamic of marginalized individuals and their oppressors is deeply interconnected to domestic and sexual violence. The tie between domination of oppressed people and the violent acts committed against them is undeniable. Focusing the conversation of gender violence on the groups most affected by oppression will help effectively combat this problem.

In order to curb gender violence, a cultural shift must occur. Recognizing, and learning from the violent past can serve as an active step in the right direction. The stories of marginalized individuals to can provide further insight on this history, as well as harvest a more compassionate community through the propagation of them. Resources like wechooseallofus.org aid in the accessibility of materials on the topic. “ Seek to learn from marginalized people. Read books, watch videos, read articles, listen to speeches, etc. The good thing is there is infinite resources online for all of us to use,” adds Wainaina.

Social activism is another critical piece to ending gender violence. Being a social upstander and voicing the message of marginalized people and minority groups plays into undermining the long held systems of oppression. Partaking in local events like The Womxn’s March on Idaho or volunteering for the Idaho Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence are all ways to get involved. “Any form of civic engagement/ activism/ political involvement that advocates for oppressed people is a move in the right direction.” encourages  Wainaina.

For more information on sexual, domestic, and gender violence visit engagingvoices.org, RAINN.org, ourgenderrevolution.org, and thatsnotcool.com