Until Safety Is Guaranteed: Women and the Fight against Violence opens on April 6, 2015, and runs through August 14, 2015.
The exhibition is on view on the first floor of the Schlesinger Library, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
In 1993 the United Nations defined violence against women as any "act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or mental harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life."
This exhibition provides historical evidence on the topic of gender violence and documents the experiences of women who have survived domestic abuse and sexual violence. It also documents grassroots activism around issues such as the connection between pornography and violence, victim assistance, and self-defense training. Also displayed are materials that show success in the fight against violence, including efforts to educate the public and to protect women through the legal and legislative achievements of the late 20th and early 21st centuries.
Violence against women has been tolerated because many cultures have viewed—and some continue to view—women as subservient or as property. It has been sanctioned by those in power or deemed legal in egregious practices such as wife "correction," rape in time of war, honor killings, and in the burning of witches. It has gone on in the privacy of the home and in public spaces. The feminist movement of the late 20th century brought attention and redress to this issue, but much remains to be done.