Relevant University of Pennsylvania courses

HSOC481 Nonstranger Violence
HSOC471 Guns & Health
SW775 Intimate Violence
SW799-311 Social Work Practice and Trauma
SW799-308 Violence in Relationships Throughout the Lifespan

Recent Events

Report Roll-out at City Hall

On November 16, 2012, City Councilmember Jannie Blackwell announced the release of Violence Against Women: A Report to the City. The report documents the nature and scope of intimate partner  violence and sexual assault in the city as well as highlights recent positive actions taken and recommends future actions. Nearly 20 city government and local non-profit agencies participated in the report.


Symposium on Violence Against Women

Friday, 9.28.12
International House
3701 Chestnut St.

Download the flier
10 a.m. Short panels followed by Q&A
Ortner Center affiliates will present highlights of their current research
Panel 1     
Similar prevalence of intimate partner violence among patients and staff at the Philadelphia Department of Public Health
Reflections upon learning about Philadelphia's systems for abused and assaulted women
Knowing a sexual assault victim or perpetrator: Differences among college students
Preliminary findings from a banner campaign about consent
Developing an HIV and partner abuse prevention intervention for urban adolescent girls
Panel 2  
Intimate partner violence against women veterans
Motivational interviewing with battered women  
Using technology to increase enrollment, retention and safety of abused women in research
Injury detection in the forensic sexual assault examination: Consensus and controversies
Panel 3  
Websites of domestic violence programs and sexual assault agencies
The use of strangulation against an intimate partner:  Preliminary findings from college students in 32 developing and developed countries
Iraqi women's attitudes about wife beating
Noon Lunch and networking
1 p.m. Doing What Matters: From Tragedy and Trauma to Social Change
Key note address by Jimmie Briggs, former Wall Street Journal reporter who wrote extensively about rapes in the Congo and subsequently founded Man-Up, a non-profit organization involving teens and young adults from 24 countries to reduce violence against women. Man-Up was unveiled at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and is funded by the Clinton Global Initiative and others.
2 p.m. Performance by Bloomers, Penn’s All-Woman Sketch Comedy Group


Past Events


Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Assessing the Scope of Sexual Assault in the U.S.
Policy brief to key federal legislators

Thursday, December 1, 2011
Strangulation & Stalking Seminar
Download the flier

Thursday, November 3, 2011
Author and activist Susan Brownmiller will speak about her groundbreaking 1975 book Against Our Will: Men, Women and Rape, on subsequent developments in the field, and on what work remains.
Register online
Download the flier
Download Susan Brownmiller's bio

Fall 2010

On Thursday, October 14, 2010, Monica Das Gupta, of the World Bank, presented on the killing of baby girls around the globe. Dr. Das Gupta suggests that people who are interested in the topic should review two of her recent papers:

On November 3, 2010, The Ortner Center hosted a screening of the documentary Family Affair followed by a Q&A session with the filmmaker and director, Chico Colvard, and a panel discussion with family violence experts. Family Affair was a special selection at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, and the Boston Globe called it "One of the most psychologically complex films ever made." A few days prior, a special pre-screening of the film was offered to faculty andstudents of the School of Social Policy & Practice. The events were hosted in conjunction with the Documentaries and Law Program, Cinema Studies Program, Women's Studies Program, and Alice Paul Center at the University of Pennsylvania.
Click here for more information.

Spring 2010

“This Is Not An Invitation To Rape Me” - an art exhibit with Charles Hall
The Ortner Center, along with Women Organized Against Rape hosted “This Is Not An Invitation To Rape Me.” The exhibit, designed to challenge attitudes about who is responsible for sexual assault, featured contributions from artists from around the globe. To celebrate the opening of the exhibit, two exciting events took place on February 18th. The first was a noon lecture by Charles Hall, the exhibit's creator. The second was a 4-6 p.m. artists' reception in the Fox Gallery.
Click here for specific details.

Winter & Spring 2009

A series of community-university conversations occurred so as to identify ways in which we can be of mutual benefit. UPenn faculty, staff, and students met with people from each of the following agencies - 12-20 attended each meeting:

  • Lutheran Settlement House, Bilingual Domestic Violence Services
  • Philadelphia Women's Death Review Team
  • Women in Transition
  • Women Organized Against Rape

  • Congreso de Latinos Unidos, Domestic Violence Program
  • Menergy
  • National Clearinghouse for the Defense of Battered Women
  • Women Against Abuse

  • Institute for Safe Families
  • Men's Resource Center
  • Nationality Service Center
  • Women's Law Project

October 2, 2008
U.S. Supreme Court Rulings & Violence Against Women Panel

Presented by The Evelyn Jacobs Ortner Center & The University of Pennsylvania Law School

Levy Conference Center, UPenn Law School – 3400 Chestnut St.

Panel Speakers

  • Molly Callahan, Director, Legal Center, Women Against Abuse
  • Joan Meier, George Washington University School of Law, who filed
    amicus briefs on behalf of domestic violence victims in several Supreme
    Court cases
  • David Rudovsky, University of Pennsylvania Law School, nationally
    renowned civil rights and criminal defense attorney
  • Deborah Harley Tierney, Chief Assistant District Attorney, Family
    Violence & Sexual Assault Unit, Philadelphia District Attorney's

Giles v. California
A woman filed a domestic violence report with police against her ex-boyfriend. Three weeks later he shot and killed her. Defense attorneys objected to the report being introduced into evidence because the ex-girlfriend was dead, and there was no way for them to cross-examine her allegations of domestic violence. Prosecutors countered that the boyfriend forfeited his right to confront his ex-girlfriend in court when he killed her. On June 25, 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in favor of Giles, the defendant.

This is the most recent of a series of U.S. Supreme Court decisions that challenges how domestic violence cases are handled by police and the courts. Please join us as we explore these rulings and their implications for practice.

Click here to download event flyer.