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U of U kicks off Women's History Month with discussion on gender-based violence

Posted at 9:23 PM, Mar 01, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-01 23:23:46-05

SALT LAKE CITY — The U of U kicked off Women’s History Month on Wednesday with a panel discussion on gender-based violence, put on by the Marriott Library.

“While all genders can experience abuse, we know that the likelihood though of women-identifying people, transgender and gender nonconforming people experiencing it is a lot higher than their male counterparts," said Annie Fukushima, Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies.

The theme of this year’s Women’s Week is 'Making Public Policy Personal.' The U of U is putting on a number of events, from keynote speakers to film screenings and a women’s social and mixer.

“We come together with events that can get at some of the hard-hitting issues," said Fukushima. "We can talk about serious stuff, but we can also celebrate.”

Sonia Salari, a Family and Consumer Studies professor at the U, was encouraged after seeing a domestic violence bill passing in the state legislature Wednesday requiring police in Utah to conduct "Lethality assessments," a series of questions that determine whether someone in a domestic violence situation is at risk of being murdered.

The legislature has also approved $24 million in funding to expand domestic violence victim services across Utah.

“I'm pleased that this legislature has really taken domestic violence seriously, and I am very sorry that it had to be based on tragedy," she said. "But the thing is, these tragedies can happen to any of us, and so we need to have a strong system in place that has consistent funding.”