United States, North America
Stephanie Kennedy

Stephanie Kennedy

My research and scholarship highlights the tremendous power of interpersonal victimization to shape the life trajectories of women and girls. The trauma of physical, sexual, and psychological violence, especially when these traumas are perpetrated by parents and family caregivers, intimate partners, and trusted members of the community support system, compromises self-esteem, incentivizes negative coping (like drug and alcohol use), and limits choice and opportunity. These negative consequences are amplified for women and girls, who often suffer at the hands of men based on deeply held notions of women’s inferiority. Although I live and work in the United States, I know that issues of gender-based violence transcend nation and culture, affecting women and girls in myriad ways across the globe. A universal treaty on violence against women is needed to give voice to women and girls as they struggle to survive and carve out meaningful lives for themselves and their families, regardless of where they live. A universal treaty represents a first-step in dismantling the social structures which allow space for women and girls to be mistreated and silence all dissenting voices.

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