2019 Student-Organized Conference

Beyond #MeToo: Global Responses to Sexual Violence in an Age of Reckoning

Due in part to the hashtag #MeToo, the threat of sexual assault has recently entered the global consciousness as an extremely compelling and devastating issue that impacts women in all areas of the world. In the midst of what the New York Timesdeems the “global reckoning over sexual violence,” the voices of sexual violence survivors have been amplified on the world stage; indeed, sexual violence transcends cultural, religious, racial, class, and national identities, making it an epidemic of international proportions.

 Though the hashtag #MeToo has recently become a global media phenomenon, violence against women is anything but new. The #MeToo movement draws attention to a much larger and complex matrix of human rights issues – lack of protections for women, lack of accountability for abusers, deeply entrenched misogyny, and gender discrimination in all spheres of life. From the Nobel Peace Prize, to student activism at Middlebury, the fight against sexual violence has taken many forms, both raising awareness of and demanding change in the current societal and legal systems that enable sexual violence.

This conference will push beyond the US-centric conception of #MeToo and responses to sexual violence to inform participants about the wide ranging and diverse tactics that scholars and activists are using around the world to combat sexual assault. 

“Beyond #MeToo” will explore the following questions:

How do states protect (or fail to protect) victims of sexual assault? 

How do different areas of the world respond to sexual assault? 

How can global governance structures prevent sexual abuse and assault? 

Does the law protect victims of sexual assault?

What does it mean to give survivors of sexual assault a voice– locally, nationally, and internationally?