Episode 23 – Broken Trust: When Institutions Fail Survivors

Throughout this podcast, we have discussed the ways in which sexual harm impacts survivors psychologically, emotionally, and physically. A less talked about consequence stems from abuse that occurs within the context of institutional environments that are expected to be safe. 

In this episode we speak to Dr. Caroline Heldman an expert on the consequences of sexual harm that takes place within institutional environments. Institutional betrayal refers to the harm that an institution does to those who depend on it. As you will hear, this betrayal can be explicit policies or when an institution fails to respond to sexual harm. This is often seen in the context of college campuses, the military, and religions organizations. 

Additional Readings and Resources:

Faculty Against Rape
The Hunting Ground
End Rape on Campus
The New Campus Anti-Rape Movement: Internet Activism and Social Justice – Caroline Heldman, Alissa R. Ackerman, and Ian Breckenridge-Jackson
Blowing the Whistle on Campus Rape – Caroline Heldman, PhD and Danielle Dirks
Institutional Betrayal and Institutional Courage – Dr. Jennifer J. Freyd, PhD

Guest Bio:

Caroline Heldman, PhD is Chair of the Critical Theory & Social Justice Department and Chair of Gender, Women, & Sexuality Studies at Occidental College in Los Angeles. She is also Executive Director of The Representation Project and a political commentator for Spectrum and CNN International. Her research specializes in media, the presidency, and systems of power.

Dr. Heldman has published six books on gender justice and politics and her work has been featured in numerous documentaries, including Miss Representation, The Mask You Live In, The Hunting Ground, Informant, Equal Means Equal, Liberated, Nevertheless, and The Great American Lie.

Dr. Heldman splits her time between Los Angeles and New Orleans where she co-founded the New Orleans Women’s Shelter and the Lower Ninth Ward Living Museum. She also co-founded End Rape on Campus (EROC), Faculty Against Rape (FAR), and End Rape Statute of Limitations (ERSOL) that successfully abolished the time limit on prosecuting rape in California. She is currently curating the first Civil Rights museum in New Orleans with Miss Leona Tate, one of the four little girls who desegregated the Deep South in 1960. 

Follow us on Facebook at Beyond Fear: The Sex Crimes Podcast, on Instagram @beyondfearpodcast, and on Twitter @fearcrimes. If you have questions about this or any of our previous episodes, or if there is anything you’d like to know about our work, we hope you will email us at beyondfearpodcast@gmail.com or you can contact us on our site here.

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