When Sexual Assault Victims Speak Out, Their Institutions Often Betray Them - Jennifer Freyd

June 17, 2019


This is a very relevant article, written by Jennifer Freyd, who is a professor of Psychology and the University of Oregon.  


Drawing on a large body of empirical research, Jennifer discusses how institutional betrayal compounds the harm victims experience after an episode of abuse.  She contrasts institutional betrayal with institutional courage, and offers 10 general principles that institutions can seek to incorporate in order to properly address situations of abuse and harm within their organizations. 


Ten general principles of institutional courage:


1. Comply with criminal laws and civil rights codes

2. Respond sensitively to victim disclosures

3. Bear witness, be accountable and apologize

4. Cherish the whistleblower

5. Engage in a self-study

6. Conduct anonymous surveys

7. Make sure leadership is educated about research on sexual violence and related trauma

8. Be transparent about data and policy

9. Use the power of your company/organization to address the societal problem

10. Commit resources to steps 1 through 9


Highly suggest checking out the full article to get an expanded description with links to further articles discussing some of the steps involved.  The full article can be read in here:




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