What is the Violence Against Women Art Map?

The Violence Against Women (VAW) Art Map was conceptualized in the fall of 2018, in the wake of the #MeToo movement by Dr. Lauren Stetz, as part of her doctoral research in Art Education with a minor in Women's, Gender, & Sexuality Studies at Penn State University. Inspired by the globality of the hashtag movement, Stetz became fascinated by its unique manifestations in different geographic locations, questioning how the universal language of hashtags interacts with complex histories of oppression. Drawing from transnational and intersectional feminisms, Stetz queries the nuances of violence across borders, boundaries, and identity. 

The VAW Art Map illuminates connections between artists globally, highlighting themes such as vulnerability, shame and victim-blaming, and law and government. The goal of the website is to build an artist coalition in response to VAW, as well as to provide educational materials for art activism and prevention of VAW.

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Donna con Tovalglia e Tappo del Lavandino by Natalia Saurin (2019), site specific installation, Tower of Ca Di Ni, Finale Ligure, Italy. 

Why Violence Against Women?

On this map, the phrase "violence against women" (VAW) is used rather than "gender-based violence" to narrow the scope of the project. The usage of VAW emphasizes a focus on those who identify as women. Although this study recognizes that violence against any gender is an equally terrible crime, it is important to note that women are the most frequent victims of gender-based violence.

What is Violence Against Women?

  • Harassment/Stalking/Threats (including digital harassment)

  • Domestic Violence/ Intimate Partner Abuse

  • Verbal/Emotional/Financial Abuse

  • Rape (Including marital rape)

  • Forced Marriage

  • Sex Trafficking

  • Femicide

  • Elder Abuse

  • and more...

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Priya's Shakti by Priya's Shakti (2014), digital and print comic, p. 7. Mumbai, India.