Hjálmar G. Sigmarsson

Prevention education and the issue of Perpetrators.
This presentation will examine some of the discursive politics around the issue of perpetrators, including the approaches, terms and frameworks used. In addition, the central notion of responsibility will be assessed. Recent years have seen a broader and more nuanced public discussion about sexual violence in Iceland. This discussion has addressed the issue of perpetrators more prominently, bringing to the fore the crucial concern of prevention. For survivor-centered service providers such as Stígamót, this has brought about another dilemma: how to move forward, and devise preventive strategies that target young men as well as perpetrators, but are consistent with a survivor-centered approach. In other words, how do we maintain the approach of being respectful of the experiences of survivors, while simultaneously reaching out to men and boys who are immersed in rape culture and defined by toxic masculinity. The presentation will include a screening of a video of personal testimonies of survivors – individuals who share their stories about abuse and recovery, and what they have to say about perpetrators.

Hjálmar G. Sigmarsson, a Counsellor for Stigamót, an Education and Counseling Center for Survivors of Sexual Abuse and Violence. His work includes bringing prevention education to schools and youth centers, improving services for male survivors of sexual violence and engaging men in anti-VAW prevention.  Has for over a decade, worked on men´s involvement and engagement with feminist issues and devising strategies to develop sustainable and effective approaches in “politicizing” men. Has worked on gender based violence issues within academia, grassroots organizations, governmental gender mechanisms and international organizations.