1st Global Conference (2017)

1st Global Conference
Sexual and Gendered Violence


Saturday 2nd December 2017 – Sunday 3rd December 2017
Vienna, Austria


Statistics provided by international health and human rights organizations, such as the WHO, UN Women or Unicef show a grim reality when it comes to sexual and gendered violence:

Worldwide, 1 in 3 (35%) women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime. It is estimated that about 40% of domestic violence is committed against men and boys, however this abuse is greatly under-reported even more than the already under-reported violence against women and girls. 4.5 million (22%) of trafficked humans were sexually exploited, while around 120 million girls under the age of 20 (about 1 in 10) have been subjected to forced sexual acts at some point in their lives. Worldwide, more than 700 million women alive today were married as children (250 million before age 15). Sexual and non-sexual violence against LGBT people (including state-sanctioned punishment, “corrective” rape, murder) is at alarming rates, significantly higher than the average in general population. Women and LGBT people still face brutal oppression in certain developing states, while some powerful Western nations seem to be going back on hard-won human rights battles, such as female reproductive rights and LGBT liberties.

Sexual and gendered violence is a matter that affects individuals, communities and societies alike. Present in its many various forms in all cultures and walks of life, it ruins lives, destroys families, breaks trust and encumbers economies.

Our first interdisciplinary inclusive Sexual and Gendered Violence conference seeks to create a lasting network of professionals in all fields related to this topic, to isolate, discuss and explore the main issues, pressing matters and recent developments in this field of activity, to identify areas to be subsequently explored in further depth and to generate collaborative action that will lead to real, lasting change in the way sexual and gendered violence is perceived and approached in institutional settings and that will bring a useful contribution to the curbing of this phenomenon on a local and global scale. We welcome any relevant and insightful kind of contribution, from classic presentations to proposals for workshops, topics for debates, panels or round tables, brainstorming sessions for creating policy materials or research instruments, sharing of event-appropriate professional or personal experience, all the way to meaningful forms of artistic expression (film, poetry, photography exhibitions etc.)

Some of our suggested main issues to be approached include (but are not limited to):

  • Exploring the notion of Sexual and Gendered Violence and its varied forms (sexual abuse, sexual harassment, domestic and intimate partner violence, sex trafficking, child marriages, rape as a weapon of war, hate crimes against the LGBT population etc)  – definitions, numbers, challenging existing assumptions, introducing new hypotheses, historical or anthropological approaches, local and global specifics etc. .
  • Consequences and implications of Sexual and Gendered Violence – ranging from an individual level to a social, economic, cultural view.
  • Understanding and assisting survivors of sexual and gendered violence – survivor categories, narratives and profiles, case studies, innovative therapeutic approaches, institutional good practices,  institutional dysfunctionality in assisting survivors.
  • Perpetrators – profiles, case studies, motivations, risk factors, innovative solutions for identifying and deterring them, punishment versus education/reformation etc.
  • Policy – existing and necessary policy programs, impact studies, local and global policy trends and their respective effectiveness, policy analysis and outcomes, unmet needs etc.
  • Legal Concerns – existing legal frames and their effectiveness, necessary laws, unjust laws, sentences for sexual and gendered violence, constructing and trying sexual and gendered violence cases etc.
  • Prevention – existing and necessary measures of prevention on a local and global scale, effectiveness of existing prevention mechanisms, best practices, the role of education in prevention etc.
  • Media, Technology, and Sexual Violence: (new)media role in the normalization or prevention of sexual and gendered violence, new forms of sexual and gendered violence via new media and technology, survivors and media exposure, media coverage of the phenomenon, media propaganda upholding state violence etc.
  • Professing in the field of sexual and gendered violence – issues, hardships, frustrations, communication needs, big and small victories and bright, hopeful moments of professionals working with sexual and gendered violence, with survivors, with perpetrators, in policy, prevention, health and healing etc.

Our main goal is to facilitate dialogue and spark innovative collaborations and discussions at an international level, in a dynamic and interactive setting.  Thus, we welcome participants from all relevant disciplines, professions and vocations (mental and physical health professionals, educators, therapists, researchers, activists, counselors, social workers, policy makers, journalists, lawyers, politicians, volunteers, business owners, military personnel, correction institutions personnel, human resources specialists, historians, sociologists, psychologists, economists, anthropologists, social media experts, artists and many more)

What’s so special about Progressive Connexions events?
A fresh, friendly, dynamic, format – at Progressive Connexions we are dedicated to breaking away from the stuffy, old-fashion conference formats, where endless presentations are read aloud off powerpoints. We work to bring you an interactive format, where exchange of experience and information is alternated with captivating workshops, engaging debates and round tables, time set aside for getting to know each other and for discussing common future projects and initiatives, all in a warm, relaxed, egalitarian atmosphere.

A chance to network with international professionals – the beauty of our interdisciplinary events is that they bring together professionals from all over the world and from various fields of activity, all joined together by a shared passion. Not only will the exchange of experience, knowledge and stories be extremely valuable in itself, but we seek to create lasting, ever-growing communities around our projects, which will become a valuable resource for those belonging to them.

A chance to be part of constructing change – There is only one thing we love as much as promoting knowledge: promoting real, lasting social change by encouraging our participants to take collective action, under whichever form is most suited to their needs and expertise (policy proposals, measuring instruments, research projects, educational materials, etc.) We will support all such actions in the aftermath of the event as well, providing a platform for further discussions, advice from the experts on our Project Advisory Team and various other tools and intellectual resources, as needed.

An opportunity to discuss things that matter to you – Our events are not only about discussing how things work in the respective field, but also about how people work in that field – what are the struggles, problems and solutions professionals have found in their line of work, what are the areas where better communication among specialists is needed and how the interdisciplinary approach can help bridge those gaps and help provide answers to questions from specific areas of activity.

An unforgettable experience – When participating in a Progressive Connexions event, there is a good chance you will make some long-time friends. Our group sizes are intimate, our venues are comfortable and relaxing and our event locations are history-laden and suited to the event. And for a little bit of extra magic, during our December 2017 conferences in Vienna, you will be able to get into the holiday spirit by visiting the famous Christmas Markets which will be open at the time of our event!

What to Send
The aim of this interdisciplinary conference and collaborative networking event is to bring together academics, professionals, practitioners, NGO’s, voluntary sector workers, in the context of a variety of formats: papers, seminars, workshops, panels, q&a’s, performances etc.

300 word reviews of your proposed contribution (paper abstracts, proposals for workshops, collaborative works or round tables, overviews of artistic projects or any other relevant forms of participation you are interested in) should be submitted by Friday 4th August 2017.

All submissions will be minimally double reviewed, under anonymous (blind) conditions, by a global panel drawn from members of the Project Advisory Team and the Advisory Board. In practice our procedures usually entail that by the time a proposal is accepted, it will have been triple and quadruple reviewed.

You will be notified of the panel’s decision by Friday 11th August 2017.

If your submission is accepted for the conference, a full draft of your contribution should be submitted by Friday 17th November 2017.

Proposals may be in Word, PDF, RTF or Notepad formats with the following information and in this order:
a) author(s), b) affiliation as you would like it to appear in the programme, c) email address, d) title of proposal, e) body of proposal, f) up to 10 keywords.

E-mails should be entitled:  Sexual and Gendered Violence Submission