As stories continue to surface from survivors of sexual violence so do questions about how to reduce the rate at which assault happens. The Equality State Policy Center is hoping to help empower Wyomingites to seek solutions by offering a one day workshop called SHAPE #metoo.
In partnership with the Wyoming Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault and University of Wyoming’s Stop Violence Program, the training is designed to help survivors, and their friends and families, to think about how to safely and effectively leverage their stories for policy change at the institutional, state and federal level.
Phoebe Stoner, the executive director of the Equality State Policy Center, said the workshop will review current policy efforts but she hopes to also generate new ideas.
“I really believe that the best policies come from the grassroots up,” said Stoner. “They come from the communities of people who have been affected by a problem because those folks are most in touch with what the solution is.”
Megan Selheim, the UW Stop Violence Program coordinator, said while every survivor is different, it’s common for them to focus on how to prevent others from going through what they’ve gone through.
“Whether that experience is the actual experience of being assaulted, or whether that experience is how systems and institutions did or did not respond after the fact,” said Selheim. “So a lot of our young survivors who are still in college are motivated to take their experience and turn it into something positive for the community.”
Selheim said while the workshop is a great opportunity for students, the event is free and open to all.
It’s this Saturday, October 6 in the Union at the University of Wyoming from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. A light breakfast and lunch will be served. To register contact the Equality State Policy Center.