Charlotte Coleman and Daryl Lee, French & Italian Department
The United States Department of Justice defines domestic violence as, “a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner,” and goes on to say that it affects “people of all socioeconomic backgrounds and education levels.” Those affected include but are not limited to, “family members, friends, co-workers, other witnesses and the community at large1.” The purpose of our project was to translate a 2013 study entitled Gender-based violence in Senegal: Prevention as an alternative to the perils of justice and security. It was originally conducted by Dr. Fatou Diop Sall and her research group, GESTES (an acronym for “Research Group in Gender and Society”), at the Université Gaston Berger in Saint Louis, Senegal. Ultimately, translating this research from French to English not only allows awareness of modern domestic violence in West Africa to spread to an English-speaking audience, but potentially leads to social and policy changes that could diminish domestic violence worldwide.
Having done a similar translation project last year for the same research group, my two team members and I were able to divide the document according to our strengths. Danielle and Taylor took on the majority of the text while I translated the graphs and charts in addition to a portion of the text. Many of the charts and graphs were missing information, did not match the information provided in the text, or were presented in a misleading form. In addition to these hiccups, we found that sections of the text were missing, so we had to actively correspond with Dr. Fatou throughout the translation in order to properly adjust them.
We finished the original 43 pages; however, Dr. Fatou has some additional chapters to the document that she would like to be translated and published with the portion we completed. So, once those chapters are received and translated, we will submit the entire document to be published on the WomanStats Project website, which collects and provides access to statistical data of women around the world.
When Dr. Fatou came to America and met with us at the beginning of this project, she expressed to us her deep gratitude for the work we were setting out to do. She said that, although the document we did on women’s property rights last year was important for the women in Senegal, this research document would have an impact on the world. Contrary to common belief, women and children are still suffering from domestic violence that is culturally accepted and for which a minimal terminating effort is done by their state or even country. Because they are unable to help themselves in most cases, those women and children need an additional voice to speak out in order to put an end to this violence that starts in the home but has a negative chain effect on nations. Thus the translation of this document into English; we are giving abused women all around the world a voice that will lead to the end of domestic violence.
The GESTES document provides a way for scholars internationally to recognize patterns, review possible solutions, and detect societal problems that may be associated with domestic violence. In addressing domestic violence, leaders of nations would be better able to decrease the risk of children “becoming society’s next generation of victims and abusers1” that is caused by violence in their own homes and would thus eliminate general violence in their respective countries. Making Dr. Fatou’s research findings available for those English-speaking leaders has been an amazing experience to have been a part of.
“Domestic Violence.” The United States Department of Justice. October 6, 2015. Web. Last accessed 30 Dec 2014.