In Support of Womxn

The Counseling Center staff has been feeling the impact of recent acts of systemic violence and oppression toward womxn. From legislation that impacts womxn’s bodily autonomy to domestic and sexual violence in relationships, we are aware that those who identify as womxn and allies in the UIC community and beyond may have been impacted.

Oppression, white supremacy, and systematic racism are implicated in this violence when marginalized identities intersect with gender. This contributes to valid outrage about the ways missing womxn of color are covered in the media relative to white womxn, and the ways in which the testimonies of womxn of color (e.g., in the trial of R. Kelly) have not historically been taken seriously.

These experiences are not limited to the borders of our own nation; we also condemn the violent treatment of womxn by police in the U.K. and by terrorist organizations in Afghanistan, the ongoing femicide taking place in Mexico and throughout Central America, and other global manifestations of oppression of womxn.

Fear, anger, pain, sadness, hopelessness, and confusion might come up when we are facing oppression and dealing with the impact of white supremacy. Sometimes it can be difficult to cope with these feelings and with what is happening around us while trying to take care of ourselves. We would like to highlight that any feeling that you are experiencing is valid and important. Your resiliency, cultural values, resources, and community could be an important part of healing and coping with these feelings.

If you need more support beyond your own resources, please know that the Counseling Center offers individual and group therapies to those feeling impacted by these events. A weekly drop-in space to process current events and how they are experienced and informed by our unique identities is also available – please email Dr. Azadeh Fatemi (afatemi@uic.edu) if you are interested in attending.

We at the Counseling Center stand in solidarity with UIC’s Women’s Leadership and Resource Center and with all womxn of our UIC community. We call for accountability of our systems big and small to not stand by while such violence continues to be perpetrated among those with marginalized gender identities, particularly as they intersect with other oppressed identities.

Please see below for additional supportive resources:

UIC Offices:
UIC Women’s Leadership and Resource Center
Campus Advocacy Network
Women’s Health Center at UIC
Gender and Sexuality Center
LGBTQ+ Care at UI Health

Coping with News-Related Stress
30 Grounding Techniques to Quiet Distressing Thoughts
Coping with Headline Stress Disorder

Womxn’s Health and Domestic Violence Resources:
Chicago Women’s Health Center (they also have an extensive resource list here)
Domestic Violence Programs in Chicago
Greenlight Free Counseling Sessions for Sexual Assault
Planned Parenthood of Illinois
Womencare Counseling

Resources for Trans Womxn: 
Resources for Trans Women 
Tips for Allies of Transgender People 
Trans Women of Color Collective 
Trans Latin@ Coalition
 
For Further Reading: 
COVID-19 and Ending Violence Against Women and Girls 
Gender-Based Violence During COVID-19: A Mini-Review 
Gender-Based Violence, Coping Strategies, and Perceived Social Support 
COVID-19 and Gender Equality: Countering the Regressive Effects 
What Will it Take? Promoting Cultural Change to End Sexual Harassment 
Migrant Women and Gender Violence 
Feminist Survival Project 2020 (podcast)

Do Something:
Contact Information for Senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth
Find and Contact Your Representatives
UNICEF - Afghanistan (and here)
United Nations Foundation for Transgender Rights
Connections for Abused Women and Their Children
Women for Afghan Women
Sister Song Women of Color Reproductive Health Collective