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Executive Director of sexual assault services non-profit on the effects of institutional betrayal

Posted at 11:31 PM, Sep 15, 2023

  • After recent sexual harassment allegations surrounding MSU head Football Coach, Mel Tucker, survivors are coming forward about the trauma they have to re-face, in light of those allegations.
  • Video shows Executive Director of Eve, Kaitlynn Dwyer-Brownell, speaking about institutional trauma as it relates to sexual assault cases.

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story)

After recent sexual harassment allegations surrounding MSU head Football Coach, Mel Tucker, survivors are coming forward about the trauma they have to re-face, in light of those allegations.

The trauma that exists isn’t just from the incident itself, but from the betrayal of the system as well.

Kaitlynn Dwyer-Brownell, Executive Director of Eve, a local nonprofit organization that provides healing and supportive services to people who have experienced domestic violence and sexual assault, says that when it comes to institutional trauma, “We’re looking at how did the system respond that was supposed to be there to help this person that was assaulted, and how did they fail them.”

And when the system fails to take action on behalf of survivors, “That’s a betrayal. That’s a trauma,” asserted Dwyer-Brownell.

And that betrayal from the institution not taking action after survivors disclose their truth, “Can be just as traumatic as the assault itself," said Dwyer-Brownell.

Kaitlynn says in order to help survivors heal from institutional trauma it starts with the institutions themselves working to regain the trust of those survivors through taking actions to initiate change, “There has to be intention to make sure that they are putting things in place so something like this isn’t going to happen again. Or if it does, they are set up to make sure that whoever does cause the harm is being held accountable.”

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