Violence against women is a major public health problem and human rights violation: one in three women (30%) experiences physical or sexual violence in their life time (WHO, 2011). Victims often experience a ‘freeze’ response: their possibilities to act, or affordances, disappear and with that their sense of agency. Experiencing such helplessness can have serious and long-lasting effects, such as PTSD and depression.
In the research project “Conflict in motion” I investigate the relation between agency, possibilities for action (affordances) and movement coordination in physical conflict. How do you experience agency when your possibilities for action are dependent on the coordination with another? And how can you prepare for a threatening interaction that requires improvisation? I investigate this in embodied, naturalistic tasks, for which parts of the Women’s self defense course I developed are used as experimental tasks.
Involved in this project: