Dangerous safe havens: institutional betrayal exacerbates sexual trauma

Author(s)Smith, Carly Parnitzke and Jennifer J. Freyd
Title Dangerous safe havens: institutional betrayal exacerbates sexual trauma
Source Journal of Traumatic Stress, February2013, Vol. 26, No.4, pp119-124
Date 2013
Document type Journal article
Summary In this study the authors examine violations of trust surrounding incidents of sexual assault, and the interaction of institutional betrayal with the experience of sexual assault and the subsequent effect on posttraumatic symptomology. A sample of university students completed an online survey with questions measuring unwanted sexual experiences using the Sexual Experiences Scale, questions assessing institutional betrayal and involvement using the Institutional Betrayal Questionnaire and questions measuring trauma symptoms using the Trauma Symptom Checklist. It was found that 68% of women reported at least one unwanted sexual experience and of these women 46% reported experiencing at least one form of institutional betrayal. The most common form of institutional betrayal involved institutions that had created environments where unwanted sexual experiences were more likely to occur. It was further found that women who had been sexually assaulted and experienced institutional betrayal, also experienced higher levels of several posttraumatic symptoms.
Keywords Sexual assault; institutional betrayal; posttraumatic stress
Topic Sexual assault