CBS sportswriter, Julie DiCaro, calls attention to domestic violence

By Anisha Kasem, Contributing writer

CBS sportswriter, Julie DiCaro, visited the University Tuesday in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

At Gregory Hall, DiCaro led a keynote discussion regarding domestic violence and misogyny in professional sports and society. The lecture was sponsored by the Women’s Resources Center, Courage Connection and Parkland College.

DiCaro studied journalism and French at Indiana University before earning her J.D. at DePaul University’s College of Law. DiCaro began her career as a domestic violence attorney before transitioning into sports media.

Currently, DiCaro is a weekend host and update anchor for “670 The Score” and a columnist for DiCaro’s work has been published by Deadspin, Red Eye and the Huffington Post.

DiCaro shared her own experiences with domestic violence and cyber-harassment. She said misogyny is not only prevalent in professional sports and media, but deeply rooted in society. She emphasized her effort to unify women and the importance of women’s voices in society.

DiCaro presented the audience a YouTube video she is featured in, titled, “#MoreThanMean — Women in Sports ‘Face’ Harassment.”

The docufilm shows men, unknowing their situation, reading offensive tweets aimed at DiCaro aloud. The #MoreThanMean campaign went viral, DiCaro said and shined a spotlight on the constant, misogynistic harassment she continues to face on social media.

DiCaro also spoke of her rape and an incidence of domestic violence with a college boyfriend.

“There’s so much freedom in being open about things,” DiCaro said. “That idea is still out there: that it’s not feminine to take a stand and be loud, take up space and make your voice heard.”

Manal Ahmed, audience member and freshman in Education, said she appreciated DiCaro sharing her personal experiences, as it made the lecture more engaging and local.

Ahmed said it was a huge wake-up call to see the impact that domestic violence has on those around her.

“She shed a bright light on the topic in a way that it is not normally brought up to students,” Ahmed said.

DiCaro said she, herself, held a lot of internal misogyny. She contributes this to societal cues promoting rape culture and disbelieving victims. She said she kept her own domestic violence experiences a secret for a long time.

According to DiCaro, women have been conditioned by society to become competitive and distrustful of one another.

“There’s no one else in society that needs your support more than the other women in your life,” she said.

Educating students on domestic violence is a passion of DiCaro’s and she regularly visits colleges as a keynote speaker.

“I think women acting as allies in support of each other is hugely important to me,” DiCaro said. “There is room for all of us (women) and we’re stronger when we’re together as opposed to when we’re all competing with each other.”

DiCaro used her career in the media industry as an example and said she appreciates the support of her female peers in the heavily competitive, male-dominated field and does her best to reciprocate the support.

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