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Laura Douglas - Zionsville, Indiana

Submitted by Emily Metallic - Brownsburg, Indiana

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Laura Douglas is an inspiration-- she is positively changing the treatment of women on a Big Ten university campus.

The Oxfam Club at Indiana University is honoring a fellow student with a Women's Leadership Award.

Laura Douglass is an IU senior with a strong commitment to women's issues. Her first year she was a director of Women's Affairs for the IU Student Association, focusing almost solely on sexual assault prevention. Her sophomore year, she held the same position but became much more active and came up with the idea of creating a campus culture where people cared for each other based on bystander intervention.

Out of that, Laura was part of a small group that founded IU's Culture of Care, where she served as the director of Sexual Well-Being for two years. She is currently doing research on sexual assault at IU under Justin Garcia at the Kinsey Institute, a leader in human sexuality research.

She plans to attend Stanford Law School in the fall to pursue public interest law.

"I'm interested in gender issues in general - but my interest in sexual assault prevention comes from its incredibly high prevalence (it's hard to measure, but about 1/4th of women are sexually assaulted at some point in college)" she said. "An interest in that led me to care a lot about women's issues in general - so much of sexual assault seems tied to hetero-normative gender roles, the lack of an expectation for communication in sexual settings, and the way our culture interprets a woman's passivity."

This story was submitted as part of Oxam America's International Women's Day initiative to honor women working to right the wrongs of poverty and hunger. Honorees are selected independently by Oxfam supporters. Selection does not imply endorsement or other support from Oxfam America.


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