February 11-22 is Sexuality Week

Domestic violence expert Dr. Lenore Walker will be the keynote speaker Tuesday, Feb. 20, at 2 p.m. in the Campus Center Ballroom as part of Sexuality Week, Feb. 11-20. Walker’s speech will focus on "Relationship Violence on the College Campus."

The author of 10 books on battered women, Walker has more than 30 years’ experience as a licensed psychologist. She is founder and director of the Domestic Violence Institute of Denver, Colo., which has affiliates in Argentina, Costa Rica, Greece, Israel, Japan, and London. She frequently testifies as an expert witness in civil and criminal cases involving domestic violence. Walker was on the witness list for the defense in the O.J. Simpson trial, but was not called.

Known for coining the term "battered woman’s syndrome," Walker introduced it as testimony in the courts on behalf of abused women who killed their spouses in self-defense and were on trial for murder. Until this change in the early 1980s, a woman on trial for murdering her spouse could not testify about prior beatings.

"This year for Sexuality Week we wanted to focus on communication and the creation of positive relationships. Since relationship violence on college campuses across the country continues to be a major issue, we wanted to take a strong preventive stand at the University," said M. Dolores Cimini, Ph.D., director of the Middle Earth crisis intervention program, which has planned the event.

"Dr. Walker has excellent credentials in this field as a scholar and a researcher," Cimini said.

Says Walker, "It is very important, particularly for young single people, to recognize and understand the signs of psychological abuse, and to learn how to have positive healthy relationships in which people are respectful of one another. So I bring a message of hope for men and women that it is possible to have healthy non-abusive relationships."

The day after her University talk, Walker goes to Washington D.C. to release a major report by the American Psychological Association’s Presidential Task Force on Violence and The Family. Walker chaired the task force.

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