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Addressing Sexual Assault - From Institutional Betrayal To Institutional Courage

Meeting Date: Friday. October 3rd, 2014

Air Date: Monday. October 6th, 2014

Jennifer Freyd and Carly Smith will discuss their work developing the concept of institutional betrayal and its role in increasing the negative impact of sexual violence. This work draws on Freyd's Betrayal Trauma Theory, which describes the uniquely toxic effects of abuse within close relationships. "Institutional betrayal” characterizes the involvement of trusted or depended upon institutions in failing to prevent, facilitating, or responding poorly to traumatic experiences. Recent examples are post-secondary schools' responses to widely publicized incidents of sexual misconduct.

Freyd and Smith will explain how they measure institutional betrayal and what they have learned from their research, which has focused on institutional response to military and campus sexual assault. They have uncovered some of the specific mechanisms by which universities currently fail to prevent sexual assault and cause additional harm to victims. Their research reveals areas of institutional policy and practice that they believe should be changed to promote movement from institutional betrayal to institutional courage.

copyright, 2014 KLCC